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THE CHURCH BELLS 



OF 



BEDFORDSHIRE. 



THE CHURCH BELLS 



OF 



BEDFORDSHIRE : 

Their Founders, Inscriptions, Traditions, and Peculiar 

Uses ; 

WITH A BRIEF 

HISTORY OF CHURCH BELLS IN THAT COUNTY, CHIEFLY 
FROM ORIGINAL AND CONTEMPORANEOUS RECORDS. 



BY THOMAS NORTH, F.S.A., 

Honorary Memuer and Honorary Secretary of the Leicestershire Architec- 
tural AND ArCH.LOLOGICAL SOCIETY, HONORARY MEMBER OK THE DERBY- 
SHIRE Arch.eological and Natural History Society, etc. 



L r WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. 



LONDON : 

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW 

1883. 



cc 

2. IS. 

^5. 



Bf/Yi 



^^ 

THE RIGHT 
fj REVEREND JAMES RUSSELL WOODFORD, D.D., 

<I^ LORD BISHOP OF ELY, 

This Volume, descriptivk of the Church Bells in a portion of his 

Diocese, 
IS, BY his Lordship's special permission, 

MOST respectfully DEDICATED 
BY HIS OBEDIENT AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



731832 



SUBSCRIBERS. 



Addington, II., Esq., Ilenlow Grange, 

Biggleswade. 
Atkinson, Rev. EtUvanl, D.D., Clare College, 

Cambridge. 

Baker, Charles, Esq., Friar Lane, Leicester. 
Baker, Rev. W. S., Eversholt Rectory, 

Woburn. 
Bath and Wells, the Lord Bishop of, The 

Palace, Wells. 
Beedham, B. H., Esq., Ashfield House, 

Kimbolton. 
Bennett, E. G., Esq., lo. Woodland Terrace, 

Plymouth. 
Berry, Rev. T. M., Blunham Rectory, Sandy, 
lielhell, W., Esq., Rise Park, Hull. 
Birch, Rev. C. G. R., Brancaster Rectory, 

Norfolk. 
Blair, R., Esq., South Shields. 
Blayde.s, F. A., Esq., Shenstone Lodge, Ash- 

burnham Road, Bedford. 
Blundell, J. II., Esq., 157, Cheapside. 
Boardman, Mr., Bookseller, Bishop's Stort- 

ford. 
Bonser, Rev. J. A., Shillington Vicarage, 

Ilitchin. 
Boyd, Miss Julia, Moor House, Leamside, 

Durham. 



Briscoe, J. P., Esq., F.R.H.S., Free Librar)-, 

Nottingham. 
Brooke, Thos., Esq., F.S.A., Armytage 

Bridge, Huddersfield. Large Paper. 
Brushfield, T. N., Esq., The CHIT, Budleigh, 

Salterton. 
Bull, T., Esq., 49, High Street, Bedford. 

Carpenter, Dr. Alfred, Croydon. 

Clarke, Mr. Saml., 5, Gallowtree Gate, Leices- 
ter. 

Cokayne, G. E., Esq., M.A., F..S.A., Col- 
lege of Arms, E.C. 

Cooke, Rev. Canon, F.S.A., 6, Clifton Place, 
Sussex Square, W. 

Cooper, Thomas, Esq., Mossley House, Con- 
gleton. 

Cox, Cornelius, Esq., 58, Fellow's Road, 
Hampste.ad, N.W. 

Cunninghamc, G. G., Esq., 45, Manor Place, 
Edinburgh. 

Daii;ney, Rev. W. IL, Harlington Vicarage, 
Dunstable. 

Davidson, Hugh, Esq., Braedale, L.anark. 

Dol)cIl, W., Esq., West Mailing, Kent. 

Downing, Wm., Esq., 74, New Street, Bir- 
mingham. 



Vlll 



Church Be lis of ]>edfordshire. 



Duke, Rev. R., F.S.A., liiilingham R.cc- 

tory, Pcrshorc. 
Dymond, E. G., Esq., Asplcy Guise, Wohurn. 

Edmond, G., Esq., Spring Vale, Niton, Isle 

of Wight, Large Paper. 
Edmonds, J. R., Esq., Charnwood House, 

Sileby, Loughborough. 
Edmondcs, Rev. T., The Vicarage, Cowbridge. 
Elvin, C. N., Esq., M.A., Eckling Grange, 

East Dereham. 
Evans, John, Esq., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., 

F.S.A., 6s, Old Bailey, E.G. 
Eyre, Rev. W. II., Stoneyhurst, Blackburn. 

Fisher, E,, Esq., Abbotsbury, Newton 

Abbot. 
Fisher, S. T., Esq., 4, Bark Prospect, Little 

Queen Street, S.W. 
Foster, R., Esq., Llanwithan, Lostwithiel. 
Foster, J. N., Esq., Sandy, Ijedfordshire. 
Fowler, Rev. J. T., F.S.A. , Bishop Hatfield's 

Hall, Durham. 
Fox, Dr. C. II., The Beeches, Brislington, 

Bristol. 

. GOUGH, II., Esq., Sandcroft, Redhill. 
Gray, II., Esq., 25, Cathedral Yard, Man- 
chester. Large Paper. 
Grove, Dr. W. R., St. Ives, Hunts. 

H.XDDOCK, Rev. Canon, Bedford. 

Harris, II. E. Hollis, Esq., 78, Regent Street, 

W. 
Harting, J. v., Esq., F.S.A., 24, Lincoln's 

Inn Fields, W.C. 



Ilaslam, Rev. C. E., Toddington Rectory, 
Dunstable. 

Ilayward, T., Esq., Crescent Foundry, 
Cripplegate. L.argc Paper. 

Ilebbes, C, Esq., Wootton, Bedford. 

Hill, James Woodward, Esq., Bedford. 

Ilockliffe, F., Esq., Bedford. 12, Large 
Paper, 

Do., Do. (12 eopies). 

Holmes, G., Esq., Ilarlcston, Norfolk. 

Honeyman, J., Esq., 140, Bath Street, Glas- 
gow. 

Hope, R. C, Esq., Albion Crescent Villa, 
Scarborough. 

Horley, W., Esq., Toddington, Dunstable. 

Howard, F., Esq., Bedford. 

Howlett, Rev. J. H., Meppershall Rectory, 
Beds. 

James, Francis, Esq., F.S.A., Edg\vorth 

Manor, Cirencester. 
Jendwine, Rev. W., Aspley Guise, Wobum, 
Jepson, G. G., Esq., Springmount, Leeds. 
Jerram, Mr. J. R., The Close, Salisbury. 

KiRKLAND, Walter, Esq., 23, Upperton Gar- 
dens, Eastbourne. 

Layton, C. Temple, Esq., 17, Mincing Lane, 
E.G. 

Layton, Thomas, Esq., F.S.A., Kew Bridge, 
Middlesex. Large Paper. 

Lee-Warner, Rev. T. II., Highmoor, Henley- 
on-Thames. 

I>uck, Richard, Esq., Llanfairfechan. 

Lynam, C, Esq., Stoke-on-Trent. 



Subscribers. 



IX 



Macleur, W., Esq., 31, Camperdown Place, 

Great Yarmouth. 
Mears, J., Esq., 47, Uurgate, Canterluiry. 

Large Paper. 
Mercer, Wm. J., Esq., 12, Marine Terrace, 

^Margate. 
Miles, Rev. II. II., Clifton Rectory, IJiggles- 

wade. 
Murdoch, Rev. A., All Saints' Parsonage, 

Edinburgh. 

NlEl.D, Wm., Esq., 2, Broad Street, Prist.-)]. 
Nixon, E., Esq., Saville House, Mcthlej', 

Leeds. 
Norton, Mr. W., Cheltenham. 

ORLEfJAR, Rev. A., Willington Vicarage, 
Bedford. 

Ormerod, II., jun., Esq., Boothroyd, Brig- 
house. 

Owen, Rev. T. M. N., Rhodes Vicarage, 
Middleton. 

PARLANE,J.,Esq., Appleby Lodge, Rusholme, 
Manchester. 

Pietcrs, Rev. J. W., S. John's College, Cam- 
bridge. 

Pike, (I. II., Esq., Green Dragon Lane, 
\Vinchmorc Hill. 

Pulleine, Mrs., Clifton Castle, Bedale. 

Ram.sev, R., Esq., 27, Grccndyke Street, 

Glasgow. Large Paper. 
Raven, Rev. J. J., D.D., School House, 

Great Yarmouth. 
Rayncs, J. G., Esq., 14, Great James Street, 

W.C. 



Reynolds, A. , Esq. , Merchant Taylors' Schools, 

E.G. 
Roots, G., Esq., 2, Ashley Place, Victoria 

Street, S.W. 
Roper, Rev. T. II., Piddlehinton Rector)-, 

Dorchester, 
Roundell, C. S., Esq., M.P., 16, Curzon 

Street, Mayfair, W. 
Rowe, R. Reynolds, Esq., F.S.A., Park 

House, Cambridge. 
Royce, Rev. D., Nether Swell Vicarage, Stow- 

on-Wold. 

St. Aldyn, J. P., Esq., iiS, Cambridge 

Street, Eccleston Square, .S.W. 
Sidebolham, J., Esq., F.S.A., Bowdon, 

Cheshire. 
Smith, Rev. P.. C, Ilulcotc Rectory, Wolnirn. 
Snowdon, J. M., Esq., Old P.ank Chandiers, 

Leeds. 
Spiers, E. G., Esq., 21, Bernard Street, 

Russell Square, W.C. 
Stahlschmidt, C. T., Esq., Fronsham House, 

Balham, S.W. Large Paper. 
Stainer, Dr. John, 5, Amen Corner, E.G. 
Stanton, Rev. A. II., St. Albans, Holborn, 

W.C. 
Stretton, Miss, Danes Hill House, Leicester. 

L.arge Paper. 
Sutton, Rev. Canon, West Tofls Rectory, 

Muntford. 
Swithinbank, d. E., Esq., LL. 1)., I'pper 

Norwood, Surrey. 

Taylor, Messrs. John iV Co., Loughborough. 
Taylor, Rev. R. F.,Gomcrsal \'icarage, Leeds. 
Thorpe, G., Esq., 65, Stoke Newinglon 
Road, N, 



X 



Church Bells of Bedfo7'dshirc, 



Timceus, Mr. C. F., High Street, Kedford 
(3 copies). 

Tinkler, Rev, John, Arkengarth-dale Vicar- 
age, Richmond. 

Trethewy, II., Esq., Silsoe, Ampthill, Large 
Paper. 

Tyssen, A. D., Esq., D.C.L., 40, Chancery 
Lane, W.C. 

UssiiER, Rev. R., Grove House, Ventnor, 
Isle of Wight. 

ViALLS, G., Esq., 24, Doughty Street, W. 

Walhouse, M. J., Esq., 9, Randolph Cres- 
cent, W. 

Walton, Rev. T. J., Ickleford Rectory, 
Ilitchin. 

Warmoll, Rev. Provost, Bedford. 



Warner, Messrs. J. & Sons, Crescent Foundry, 

Cripplegate, E.C. 
Waterton, Edmund, Esq., F.S.A., Deeping 

Waterton Hall, Market Deeping. 
Watkins, Rev. H. G., The Vicarage, Potter's 

Bar, N. 
Webster, Mrs., Raven Ilolt, Scalford, MeKon 

Mowbray. 
White, G. II., Esq., Glenthorne, St. Mary's 

Church, Torquay. 
Whitbread, Saml, Esq., Southill, Biggleswade. 

Large Paper. 
Whitehead, Rev. H., Brampton Vicarage, 

Carlisle. 
Williams, J. H., Esq., Leicester. 
Wood, R. H., Esq., F.S.A., Penrhos House, 

Rugby. 
Worcester, the Very Rev. the Dean of, Wor- 
cester. 



Corporation Library, Guildhall, E.C. 

Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, W. 

Cathedral Library, Lincoln. 



The foregoing list of subscribers has been made up to the date of going to press. Any names 
arriving after this date have been necessarily omitted. 



PREFACE. 

— <. — 

On the completion of my endeavour to place upon record a 
careful account of the Bells at present hanging in the churches 
of Bedfordshire, I have to acknowledge, with pleasure and with 
gratitude, much kind help received from many friends and 
from many courteous correspondents. 

To Mr. Edwin Ransom, F.R.G.S., I am specially indebted 
for (without any solicitation on my part) placing in my hands 
a collection of copies of the inscriptions on, and the measure- 
ments of, many bells in the county, carefully made under his 
direction some years ago. 

To Mr. D. G. Cary-Elwes, F.S.A., and to Mr. Charles 
Herbert, I am also very much indebted for spending much 
time, and making long journeys^ in order to procure for me 
rubbings from many of the more ancient bells in the county. 

And further, I beg to acknowledge the ready help I received 
from the other gentlemen, whose names are in the following 
list, towards the completion of this work by sending me 
rubbings, etc., of the inscriptions on, and other particulars 
relating to, the bells in the different parishes appended to their 
names. 

The Rev. W. G. Dimock Fletcher very kindly gave me 
some assistance in the Bodleian Library, O.xford. The Rev. 

d—2 



Xll 



CI Lurch Bells of Bedfordshire. 



J. T. Fowler, F.S.A., Vice-Principal of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, 
Durham, allowed me, as upon former occasions, to appeal to 
him for a reading of more than one difficult inscription ; and 
Mr. Vincent's professional services were very useful to me in 
the Public Record Office. 

To each and all I beg to offer my hearty thanks. 



Baker, Rev. R. 

Blaydes, F. A., Esq. ... 
Bolingbioke, Rev. F. ... 
Bonser, Rev. J. A. 
Bosanquet, Rev. E. 

Elwes, D. G. Gary-, Esq., F.S.A. 



Golmworth, Eaton Socon, rudJington, Staugli- 

ton Parva, Wyniington. 
Studham, Whipsnade, 
Melchbourne. 
Shillington. 
Glophill. 

Bedford (S. Peter, S. Mary, and S. Guthbert), 
Blunham, Bromham, Cardington, Carlton, 
Chcllington, Glapham, Cople, Elstow, Gold- 
ington, Ilarrold, Ilawnes, Kempston, Mug- 
gerhanger, Northill, Oakley, Odell, Paven- 
ham, Potton, Sandy, Sharnbrook, Southill, 
Stevington, Thurleigh, Warden (Old), 
Wilden, Wilshampstead, \Villington, Woot- 
ton. 



FosTEK, Rev. A. J. 
Herbert, Mr. Gharles. 



Fandisli. 

Aspky Guise, Baltlesden House, Billington, 
Gaddington, Chalgrave, Granfield, Eaton 
Bray, Egginlon, Flitwick, Harlington, Heath 
and Reach, Ilockliffe, Houghton Regis, 
Hulcote, Husborne Grawley, Lidlington, 
Marston Moretaine, Millbrooke, Milton 
Bryant, Salford, Stanbridge, Tilsworth, Tin- 
grilh, Tottenhoe, \Yobuni. 



Llf, Rev. W. G. 



Shelton. 



Preface. 



Xlll 



Miles, Rev. II. II. 
Moxon, Rev. G. II. 

ObiiORN, Rev. G. M. 

Ransom, E., Esq. 



Raven, Rev. J. J., D.D. 
Rayncs, J. G., Esq. 



W.\KNER & So.NS, Messrs. 



Llanfairfechan, North Wales. 
October, 1883. 



Clifton. 
Streallcy, Sundon. 

Camptoii, ShcfTord. 

Ampthill, BarforJ Great, BarforJ Little, I5ar- 
ton-le-Clay, Battlesden, Bedford (S. Paul, 
S. John Baptist, and Holy Trinity), Bidden- 
ham, Biggleswade, Bletsoc, Bolnhurst, Card- 
ington, Clapham, Dean, Dunstable, Evers- 
holt, Felmersham, Flitton, Gravenhurst 
(Upper and Lower). Ilatlcy Cockayne, Hig- 
ham Gobion, Houghton Conquest, Kcysoe, 
Knotting, Leighton Buzzard, Luton, Mep- 
pershall, Milton Ernest, Pertcnhall, Pollux- 
hill, Pottesgrove, Ravensden, RenfoUl, 
Ridgmount, Riseley, Roxton, Silsoe, Soul- 
drop, Stagsden, Steppingley, Stondon, Sutton, 
Tempsford, Tilbrook, Toddington, Turvey, 
Westoning, Wrestlingworth, Vielden. 

Holwcll, Maulden. 

Dunton, Edworth, Eyeworlh, Ilenlow, Lang- 
ford, Stotfold. 

Arlesey. 

T. N. 



CONTENTS. 

Church Bells (with special reference to those in Bedfordshire) . 

The Church Bells of Bedfordshire .... 

The Bedfordshire Bellfounders {Illustrated) 

Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells {Illustrated) 

Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells 

Latin Inscriptions on Bedfordshire Bells {j(.iith Tratislations) 

A Table of Diameters of Bells, with the approximate Weights . 

The Inscriptions on the Church Bells of Bedfordshire, with the Diameter 
at the mouth of each Bell, from which its approximate Weight may 
be ascertained. To which are added extracts, where procurable, 
from the Commissioners' Returns temp. Edward VI., and from 
Parochial and other Records, together with Local Traditions, 
Notices of Donors, etc., etc. . . . . .121 

Index . . . . . . . . 213 



PAGE 
I 

37 

43 

85 

117 



CHURCH BELLS. 



ALTHOUGH we know that the Christian Church in the 
first years of its infancy met in a large upper room, the 
festival apartment, the best room in the house, and one, no 
doubt, decently, if not handsomely, furnished ; and that 
afterwards, in the early centuries of its existence, its members 
assembled for prayer and praise in handsome edifices, or in 
caves and catacombs, according to the peace it occasionally 
enjoyed, or the persecution it not unfrequently suffered, still 
we know little of the means — public or private, according to 
these circumstances — adopted for calling the faithful together. 
Even after its vicissitudes of outward peace and unrest were 
over, and it enjoyed, under Constantine, encouragement and 
protection, when some of the ancient basilicas of Rome were 
placed by the Emperor in the hands of the Church, and 
magnificent temples were erected by him, in other places of 
his wide dominions, for the worship of God, the mode of 
summoning the worshippers is still uncertain, and our 
knowledge of it obscure. Bingham's opinion is probably 
correct, that for the first three hundred years the primitive 
Christians did not meet in their assemblies by the notice of 
any public signal. The hours of prayer being well known, 

B 



2 Church Bells. 

and a desire, perhaps, existing not to unduly call the attention 
of their heathen or Jewish neighbours to the celebration of 
their more solemn rites, might induce them to assemble, even 
during periods of peace and quiet, without the use of any 
public summons. In the times of persecution a secret 
message passed from one to another would be the safest and 
only prudent method of calling the Christians together. 
Later, when the Church had little to fear from outward 
persecution, the Christians in Egypt and in Palestine appear 
to have used trumpets, like the Jews of old, and In other parts 
they used an instrument of wood, called a sigmcm. In the 
monasteries the monks or nuns were summoned to church 
by a blow from a mallet at the door of each cell, or by one 
going round crying " Halleluja."'" 

It Is not until the fifth century that we find bells used in 
the Christian Church In the way with which we are so familiar. 
Small bells, or " metallic ratdes," had been long known 
and used in various ways by the nations of antiquity. The 
Jews knew them well ; the Greeks and the Romans were 
familiar with them ; the Persians wore them on their royal 
robes ; they have been found In the ruins of Nineveh ; the 
Hindoos used them in their temples, and the Chinese have 
probably for ages known them as common things ; but even 
tradition does not claim the Campana, or large bell, as an 
ornament of the church, used as a public signal, prior to the 
fifth century. 

S. Jerome, who is thought to be the first Christian writer 

* See Bingham's CArisL A /tiii/. Book viii. oi FeWiccisLS Fo/i/f o///tc CAn's/ian C/iu/r/i, 
c, vii. s. XV., and see also Bellett's translation Book ii. s. ii. c. i., p. 192. 



CJmrch Bells. 3 

who refers to large bells — Campancr, or Sigjia, as they are 
frequently called — mentions them in his Rcgitla Illoimc/ionnu, 
written about a.d. 422, as being then used as a call to Matins 
and to the other canonical hours.'" Two centuries later 
(a.d. 604) Pope Sabinian ordered the canonical hours to be 
sounded on the bells ; and they are mentioned in the Ordo 
Romanus of that date, as well as in other writin^rs of the close 
of that century.t Half a century later we find a bell in 
England. Bede mentions the existence of one at Whitby in 
the year 680, which was used to awake and to call the nuns to 
prayer. I The second Excerption of Egbert, issued about the 
year 750, commands every priest, at the proper hours, to 
sound the bells of his church, and then to go through the 
sacred Offices of God. Ingulph tells of a ring of seven bells — 
and gives their names — as being at Croyland Abbey at the 
close of the tenth century.§ Bells were cast, for the great 
Religious House at Abingdon, under the direction of S. 
.^thelwold ; and S. Dunstan (who died a.d. 977), not only 
cast bells for the same House and for Canterbury Cathedral, || 
but drew up a set of rules for their use. Lancfranc (who 
died a century later) also drew up rules for the ringing of the 
bells for the canonical hours. Indeed, there is every reason 
for believing that at the Norman Conquest bells were plentiful 
in England, and that then, or shortly afterwards, the art of 
bellfounding was not only well understood, hut carried to 

* Quoted by Rocca De Canifanis, Opera, \ Ingulph's Chron. (Bohn's Ed.), p. 107. 

Romcc 1719, vol. i., p. 156. || Rock's Church 0/ our fathers, iii. I'art 

\ Walcott's Sac. Arch., p. 66. 2, p. 57. 

X Eccl. Hiit., Book iv. c. xxiv. (Gidley"s 
translation.) 



4 Church Bells. 

great perfection in this country. The grand old Norman 
towers of our churches clearly point to the large and heavy 
bells which they were erected to contain, and the law of 
Curfew, enforced by the Conqueror, proves the general 
distribution of bells throughout the country. 

In the thirteenth century Campano' Magnet are mentioned 
in the necessary furniture of an English church,* and every 
such church would appear to have then possessed one bell or 
more ; the chroniclers, too, constantly refer to the ringing of 
bells amongst the usual marks of rejoicing and of welcome.t 
It is in that century that we meet with a regular bellfounder 
by trade, Roger de Ropeford, who, in the year 1284, was 
employed to cast four bells for the north tower of Exeter 
Cathedral. I 

In the Middle Ages, and, indeed, in much more recent 
times, when the roads- were bad and the movement of heavy 
material difficult, bells were often cast within the precincts of 
Religious Houses, in churchyards, and even, occasionally, 
within the church itself. Bellfounders, too, itinerated, setting 
up their furnaces in central situations, doing all the work they 
could obtain from the neighbourhood around, and then 
moving on. 

After the bell was cast, and before raising it to its final 
place in the bell-chamber, it was set apart for its future use by 
a solemn ceremonial, and by the recitation of an Office which 
has been variously termed the Blessing, the Consecration, and 



* See Peacock's Church Funiittire, pp. J Ellacombe's Bells of Exeter Cathedral 

177-9- P- 3- 

t See especially Matthew of Paris. 



Church Bells. 5 

the Baptism of the bell. The use of this Office, if not coeval 
with the introduction of the church bell, is certainly of great 
antiquity. This we gather from the fact that Charlemagne 
issued, in the year 789, an express order against the baptism 
of bells. The De Benedictione Signi vel Campancc of the 
Roman Pontifical follows the ceremonies enjoined in the more 
ancient Offices. The bell having been first washed by the 
Bishop with water into which salt had been cast, was anointed 
by him with holy oil and chrism, he saying : — 

" Saudi -{-Jicctiir, et consc -\- cretiir Domi/ie Signum istud : 
in nomine Pa -V iris ei Fi-\-lii, et Spiritus + Sancti in honorem 
Sancii N. Pax tibi:' 

After which the inside of the bell was censed. This Office, 
which had many characteristics of Holy Baptism, was made 
even more conspicuously similar by the introduction of 
other — apparently unauthorized — ceremonies, so that, at least 
in the eyes of the vulgar, it assumed a too close and irreverent 
resemblance to that holy Sacrament. These additions were 
the giving of a name — not the simple dedication of the bell in 
honour of a certain saint — and the use of sponsors. These 
customs prevailed in France, and also in England, where the 
chief duty of the sponsors appears to have been to pay the 
costs attending the consecration. Thus in 1499, when the 
great bell, named Harry, was hallowed at Reading, we are told 
that certain persons were " godfaders and godmother at the 
consecracyon of the same bell, and bcryng all o'" costs to the 
suffrygan.""' There is a tradition attaching to the ancient 

* Notes and Queries, 3rd s., vii., p. 90. 



6 CJmixJi Bells. 

Sanctus-bell now hanging in Dunstable, in this county, 
illustrative of this custom : it is to the effect that at its 
consecration " there was a gorgeous ceremonial, at which 
Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland, acted as 
godmother." 

To the ancient and — when not accompanied with undue 
ceremonial calculated to mislead — laudable custom of blessing 
or setting apart of bells for holy uses we owe the origin of bell 
inscriptions. The earliest form of inscription is simply the 
name of the saint in whose honour the bell was cast, placed 
upon it by the founder, and which name was ratified at its 
consecration. Upon the largest, or tenor bell, was frequently 
placed the name of the patron saint of the church, and upon 
the smaller ones, perhaps, the names of saints whose altars 
were formerly in the church below, or who were patrons 
of ancient Guilds or Confraternities in the parish. Of bells of 
this class (though not necessarily of this early date) may be 
mentioned one in this county — the 3rd at Carlton, inscribed : — 



Though the earliest bells do not generally tell us anything 
as to their date, or the foundry where they were cast, a few 
early dated English bells have been found : one at S. Chad's, 
Claughton, Lancashire, is dated 1296 ; another at Cold Ashby 
Northamptonshire, is dated 131 7 ; two at South Somercotes, 
Lincolnshire, bear the date 1423 ; and two others at Sowerby, 
in the same county, tell us they were cast in the year 1431. 

The early inscriptions are usually in stately, and frequently 



Church Bells. 7 

richly ornamented Gothic capital letters, and in Latin — the 
language of the mediaeval church. 

We soon meet with slight extensions of the inscriptions, 
such as — to quote Bedfordshire examples : — 

at Cople, and 

at Hawnes. 

Although bells cast in pre-Reformation times are, as a rule, 
undated, they generally bear founders' marks, initial crosses, 
and other means of recognition by which they can be classified, 
and, in many cases, assigned to their respective dates and 
foundries. Care must, however, be taken in so using these 
bell stamps, for as foundries often went on for generations, 
and even centuries, so the stamps were sometimes handed 
down from one founder to another, and so were used for a 
long period. 

On bells from the fourteenth century to the period of the 
Reformation we very frequently find the invocation Ora pro 
nobis added to the name of the saint, thus : — 

^ancta XH'^i^i^ Ora Ipro ,IFlol)is 
at Edworth, and 

at Eyeworth. 

These invocations were taken from the Litanv, and nianv of 



8 Chmxh Bells. 

the other inscriptions found on ancient bells, doubtless owe 
their origin to the various Offices of the mediaeval church : 
the 4th bell at Kempston has an inscription of that character, 
although its actual source is unknown : — 

and the 5th at Willington : — 

(*> ^t^xWx ^poforc ^ro )[^obtg jgcmpcr (Diate. 

The angelic salutation — in part or in whole — appears upon 
many pre- Reformation bells, as, to confine ourselves to 
this county : — 

at Sundon and Thurleigh. 

Occasionally we find figures of the Blessed Virgin and 
Child, of men and of angels, on bells of this date. At 
Impington, Cambridgeshire, the Evangelistic symbols appear ; 
but Bedfordshire gives us no example of such, neither are 
there, as is sometimes, though very rarely, the case in other 
counties, any earlier inscriptions in English than some found 
on bells cast at the close of the sixteenth century. 

At the date of which we are now speaking there was no 
such thing known as change-ringing, and, indeed, it would 
appear that neither ringing " rounds " nor chiming in " tune " 
was possible in the great majority of our churches. The 
returns from the different parishes, obtained in the reign of 
Edward the Sixth, speak of each as possessing a certain 



Church Bells. 9 

number of bells apparently unfit for musical chiming; or 
ringing, but quite adequate to the customs of the time. 
Towards the close of the sixteenth century, however, care was 
sometimes taken, when bells were re-cast, to have them " in 
tune."* 

The decay of Gothic art, followed by the Reformation, 
produced many changes in connection with bells, as with 
other ornaments of the church. The stately Gothic capital 
and the quaint small " black letter," grradually gave place to 
clumsy Roman letters for the inscriptions. The beautiful 
initial cross also gradually disappeared. Figures of saint 
or angel were discarded. English, although it did not 
altogether supplant Latin, gained a full share of use on the 
bells. Ancient inscriptions were sometimes erased, and the 
old forms dropped, at first to give place to mottoes of 
a reverent character, which soon, however, drifted, in 
many instances, into doggrel rhyme — stupid, frivolous, and 
thoroughly out of place, or into a bare list of names of vicar 
and churchwardens. Dates, in Arabic numerals, now appear 
on every bell, and founders' names abound. Specimens of 
all these will be found in the bells of this county hereinafter 
described. 

Sometimes eighteenth century bells bear the names of their 
donors, or commemorate some event of national interest, but 
bell inscriptions (with some praiseworthy exceptions), after the 
middle of the seventeenth century, afford little interest. 

In the second year of Edward the Sixth's reign, a 



Several instances are quoted in North's Church Bells of Limolmhin; p. 19, 
C 



10 Church Bells. 

Commission was issued to inquire into the quantity and value 
of church furniture and ornaments throughout England, and 
to forbid their sale or misappropriation. Unfortunately for 
our present purpose, the results of that Commission, so far as 
regards Bedfordshire, are unknown to us. The Certificate of 
the Local Commissioners, which would have shown the 
number of bells then hanging in its steeples, cannot now be 
found. That of the gentlemen appointed as Commissioners 
for the survey of all Colleges, Chantries, etc., is, however, 
extant, but from it we learn little beyond their names and the 
Returns from two Chantries. It is as follows : — 

The Countye The certyfycat of Syr John Saynt John Knyght S"" 

of bedforde. Thomas Rotheram Knyght and Wyttm Smyth Gent' 

Comyssyons' wythin y^ countye of Bedf . 

Amonges other authorised by the Kyngf Mayesties letters patent^ of 
comyssyon beryng date the xiiij day of ffebruary in the second yere of the 
raign of o'' sovayn lord Edward the syxt by the grace of God Kyng 
of Ingland ffraunce and Ireland defendo*" of the ffayth and in Erth of the 
churche of Ingland and Ireland the supreme hed To S"" John Saynt John 
S"^ Antony Lee S"" Robert Drury S"" Thomas Rotheram knyghts Henr 
Bradshawe Esquyer George Gyfford & Wyttm Smyth Gent' directed ffor 
the survey of all Colledges fifrechapells Chauntries ffraternyties Brotheddf 
Guyldf Stypendaries Obytes Anniv'saries Hghtes and other like w'^'in the 
countyes of Bedf and Buck' havj^ng or beyng at any tyme w^^in v yeres 
next before the fourth day of November last past viz Touchyng as well 
the yerely value of all the manors landf possessyons & heredytamentf 
stockf of money stocky of Cattell Juells plate ornamentf and other goodf 
to theym or any of theym W7thin the said Countye of Bedf or els where 
belongyng or appteignyng w* the yerely repris' & deduccons goyng out of 
the same And also thaunswering procedyng in that behalf as here 
after folowyth 



Church Bells. 1 1 

The College of Northewelle 

The Chauntry of Bydenham bridge 
in y^ pishe of Bromham 

\Omitting the particulars up td\ 

Goodes and Ornament^ belonging to the sayd Chauntry as I ..... . .... , 

aperith by Inventory remaynyng w^'^ ij belles valued at . J 

The Chauntry of Wyboston in the pyshe of Eton 

\Omitting Lands, etc] 

Goodes and Ornamentf belonging to the said Chauntry as 
aperith by Inventory remaynyng w''^ one belle valued at 



xxxviji. vj^.' 



The Commission of 1549 failing to complete its object, 
about four years afterwards — in 1552 — another was issued, 
which carried out its purpose more effectually. A copy of the 
one for this county is here given : — 

Edward the Svxt, etc. To our deare Cousyn and Counsaillour 
William Marques of Northampton, Great Chamberleyn of England, and 
to our trustie and right welbeloved John Lord Braye, and to our trustie 
and welbeloved John Seynt John, and Uryan Brereton, Knights, and to 
our welbeloved Lewes Dyve and Richard Snowe, Esquyers, greting 
\\'hercas We have at sondry tymes heretofore by our speciall Commyssion, 
and otherwyse commaunded that ther shuld be takyn and made a just 
veu, survey, and inventory of all manner goodes, plate, juells, vestyments> 
bells, and other ornaments within every paryshe, belongyng or in any 
wyse apperteynyng to any Churche, Chapell, Brothered, Gylde, or 
Fraternyty, within this our Realme of England, and uppon the same 
Inventory so taken, had, or made, our commaundemcnt was and hathe 
ben, that all the same goodes, plate, juells, vestments, bells, and other 
ornaments, shuld be safely kept and appoyncted to the charge of such 
persons as shuld kepe the same safely, and be ready to aunswere to the 
same at all tymes according to the whiche our Commyssyons and sundry 

* Augmentation OJ)ici : C/iaiitiy Certificate No. I, pp. 9, 10, iS. 



1 2 Church Bells, 

Commaundements. We were advertysed by our said Commyssioners 
then appoyncted and by other meanes also, that the said goodes, plate, 
juells, vestyments, belles, and other ornaments of the said Churches, 
Chapells, Brotherhedds, Gylds, Fraternytyes, and Companyes, were not 
only vieued and duly survcyd, but also that the Inventories therof were 
made by Indenture, and thon part of the same remayned with our Gustos 
Rotulorum of that Countye, or hys Deputye or Gierke of the peax at that 
tymc being, and the other part with the Ghurchewardens and such men 
as had the charge of the same goodes and other Inventories also made 
by our commaundement by our Busshoppes and their Ecclesiasticall 
Officers, were lykewyse by them retorned hyther to our Gounsaill : yet 
nevertheless for that we be informed that somme part of the said goodes, 
plate, juelles, belles, and ornaments of Ghurches be in somme places 
embeselled or removed contrarye to our former expresse commaundements, 
and manyfestlye to the contempt and derogacion of our honar in that 
behalfe. We have thought mete to have the very truthe herin justly and 
duly knowen, to thintent the same may be as ys most necessarye 
redressed and furthwith reformed. And for that purpose for the good 
knowledge and experyence had in your trustynes, faithfulnes, wisdome, 
and uprightnes, we have appoyncted you to be our special Gommyssioners, 
and by auctoryty hereof do name, appoynct, and actoryse you four, or 
three of you, to take and receave a due, full, and just vieu of all goodes, 
plate, jeuells, bells, and ornaments of every Ghurche and Ghapell in 
whose hands soever the same be belonging, or in any wyse apperteynyng 
to any the said Ghurches, Chapells, Gylds, Brotherhedds, or Fraternyties 
within that our Countie of Bedford. And upon the said vieu so taken 
to cause a true, just, and full, perfect Inventory to be made of the same, 
and to compare the same with the best of the former Inventories 
heretofore made and remaynyng with the said Churchwardens, or suche 
other as then hadd the same in charge. And for the defaults and wants 
yf any shalbe, eyther of the said plate, juelles, belles, vestyments, or any 
other ornaments, or any part of theym any manner of wyse, to make 
diligent inquyrye and serche as well by the othes of suche honest men as 
ye shall thinke mete to sweare therfore as any other convenyent meanes 
to knowe and understond by whose default the same hath been removed, 
embesiled, aliened, or dimynyshed. And also in whose possession the 
same things or any part therof so spoiled, removed, embeselled, or 



Church Bells. 13 

demynysshed, do remayne, or to whose use the money and profett therof ys 
made oris comme, according to the further meanyng of certen in- 
struccions sent to you herewith, and of your hole doyngs in this behalf, to 
retorne unto us and our Pryvey Counsaill in wryting your answere 
accordingly. And yf ye shall fynde any person or persons that wilfully 
or stubburnlye will refuse to obey any precept or commaundement which 
you, our said Commyssioners, foure or three of you, shall geve unto 
theym in or about thexecucion of the premisses, that then we gyve unto you 
full power, auctorytie to commytt suche person or persons to warde and 
pryson, ther to remayne without baill or maynprice, untyll suche tyme as 
you shall think the same ymprisonment to be condigne for his or their 
offences. Wherfore Wee will and commaunde you and every of you to 
attende and execute the premysses accordinglye, and moreover Wee will 
and commaund all and singuler Mayours, Shereffes, Bayllyffes, Constables, 
Hedboroughes, all Curates, Parsons, Vicars, Churchwardens, and all 
other our Offecers, Minysters, and faithfuU Subjects, that they and every 
of them be ayding, helping, counsailling, assisting, and furthering you in 
and aboute the due execucion herof as they tender our pleasure and will 
aunswer to the contrarye at ther extreme perells. In Witnes wherof, 
etc. T. R. apud \sic\* 

Under this Commission, as will be observed, inquiry was 
made, upon oath, as to any loss which had accrued by the 
removal or misappropriation of church goods, to the different 
churches, since the Inventories of 1549 were made. A new, 
and in many cases, an appraised list was drawn up, and the 
goods therein mentioned were committed to the safe-keeping 
of the Curate and Churchwardens of the parish. A few of 
these Inventories, dated in August and September, 1552, for 
parishes in this County, arc preserved amongst the Land 
Rcvemce Records in the Public Record Office, and will be 
quoted hereafter when the bells in those parishes are described. 

• Printed in Seventh Report of the Deputy-Keeper of the Public Records, p. 307. Allhoujjli 
not dated, there is little doubt it was issued in May, 1552. 



14 Church Bells. 

One — that relating to Harllngton — may be quoted in full as a 
specimen of the whole : — 

The Invytorie indented of all man' of plate, Jewell C, vestimentf, 
Ornamentf and belle belonginge to the pysshe Churche of Harlyngdon 
in y^ com of Bed' made y^ second daye of September in y<= vj'^ 
yere of y« Rayne of o'' Sov'aigne lord Edward the sixt by y^ grace of god 
of England Fraunce «S: of lerland Kynge DefendC of the faithe & in erth 
y^ sup''me head of the churche of England & lerland Exebyted & delyv^ed 
to y^ King(> his maiestie Comyssyoners by Wittm Alyson vycar Richard 
Hawkyns John Nasshe churchewardens John Spyc' z\.^ Helder Richard 
Mathew townesmen. 

Imp'mis one chalice of siluer f)cell gylte waying ix oncf 

ItiTi to crossys of coper & gylte 

Itm a corpus clothe w' a case of syke \sic\ 

\\.'m. one payer of sensers of copC 

ItiB sixse vestmentc v of them of sylke & one of them of whight 

bustyan 
Itm ij copes one of damaske whyght & the other of blew damaske 
Itm iij pillovves olde of silke 

Itmin y^ Stepull of y^ said churche v belles & a saunce bell — The first 
bell in wydenes ij foote & vij ynches in Depthe ij foote & one 
ynche the second bell ij foote & viij ynches in depthe ij foote the 
thurde bell ij fote wyde & ij foote depth y« fowerth bell iij foote 
wyde & ij fote depth & a di y^ vth bell iij foote & di wyde ij 
foote & di depe the saunce bell wyde xj ynches & ix ynche depe 
Itin all the said churche & porche leaded & the chaunsell tyled 
& the stepull tyled 
Comitted to the custodie and safe kepynge of Wittm Alyson Vicar there, 
John helder & Richard Mathewe 

I Seynt John Vryan Brereton 
Lewys Dyve 

Richard Snowe 
Endorsed : — Imp'mis one chalyce sold to John Spyce' iij//. iiji". iiij^. 
which was bestowed vpon the hye waye * 

* Land Revenue Records. Bundle 1392, File 2, No. 2. P. R. Oft. 



Church Bells. 1 5 

Again, in January, 1553, a third Commission was issued, 
under which the Commissioners had power and authority 
to " collect and bring together all and singuler redye money 
plate and Juelles certyfyed by our Commyssioners aforesaid \i.e.y 
under the previous Commission] to remayne in any church, 
chapell. Guild, Brothered, Fraternitye or Company in any 
shire Countye or place within this our Realme of England." 
This Commission, which is a long one, directed one or two 
chalices to be left out of the confiscated plate for use in every 
cathedral or collegiate church, and one chalice for every small 
parish church or chapel where chalices were remaining. It 
next provided for the sale or distribution of the other 
" ornaments and ymplements " of the churches, and, with regard 
to the bells, directed : — 

And also to sell or cause to be sold to our use by weight all parcels or 
peces of metall except the metall of greatt bell, saunse bells, in every of 
tTie said churches or chapells.* 

This order as to the bells has generally been understood to 
direct the sale of all the large bells with the exception of the 
largest, or tenor, bell in each ring. What was meant, I think, 
was not the confiscation of all excepting one bell, but that all 
broken bells — "peces of metall" — and bells other than the 
parish bells proper, were to be sold, and the proceeds remitted 
to the King's exchequer. This view is borne out by the fact, 
abundantly proved, that the church bells were not sold, and 
also by the express injunction charged later in this same 



* Seventh Report of the Diputy-Kecpcr of the Public Records, p. 312. 



1 6 Church Bells. 

Commission upon all Deans, Provosts, Churchwardens, Minis- 
ters, and parishioners of the said churches and chapels : — 

That they and cverye of them do safely kepe unspoiled, unembesiled, 
and unsold all suche bells as do remayne in everye of the said Churches 
and chapells and the same to conserve untill our pleasur be therein further 
knowne. 

.When the clean sweep intended under this Commission was 
effected, an Indented Inventory of the few goods left behind 
in each parish was drawn up, and a duplicate copy left with the 
Vicar and Churchwardens. Some of these Inventories are 
preserved in the Public Record Office, but none from 
Bedfordshire have at present been found. 

From a letter, dated the 8th of May, 1556, concerning an 
inquiry as to certain plate, said on one side to belong to the 
church, and on the other to have been the property of the late 
Sir John Gostwyke, who used to lend it to the church for 
divine service, it appears that the Commissioners in the 
County of Bedford at that time were : — " S' John Seint John 
Knight, John Gascoigne K., Vrian Brereton Knight, Nich. 
Luke esquier, John Seint John esquier, Lewes Dyve, Ric' 
Snowe & John Colbeke " * 

About that time — 1556 — certain inquiries were instituted 
as to the apparent misappropriation of lead and bells then 
recently belonging to some of the former Religious Houses of 
the county. A document showing this is preserved among 
the Land Revenue Records in the Public Record Office, and 
which is worth quoting here : — 

* Land Revtmie Record. Bundle 1392, File 3. P. R. Off. 



Church Bells. 17 

Leade iH: Bellys to be answeryd by dyvse psones vnder wrytten 
ageynst whom it is mete to make owt pcesse 



The Cyrcuyte of S"" 
ffrauncf Jobson, K. 
late Resceyvor of 

the Countye of 



Bedf. 



C The Lorde Wyllyams for v bellys of the late 
Monasterye of Woborne solde 
reporte of W. Smythe Surveyor. 



The L. Will^ms \ Monasterye of Woborne solde by hym by the 



j '^o speke w^ S"" ffrauncc Jobson Resceyvor for v 
^ ^ \ Bellys of the late Monasterye of Warden. 

f To calle S'' James Ratclyffe ffermer of Elstowe for 
•' ' ■ ^ ( iiij bell ('there to hym dely\^ed as Mi'Smyth informeth. 

[ To speke w' S"' Leon'de Chamb'leyn of Wodestok 

S'- Leon'de Chamb-3 ^' ^o^ ^^^ "^^^^ o^ Dunstable amountynge to xlviij^ 

'leyn ] or there abought^ which he claymeth by the qwenes 

V graunte ij yeres past.* 

C To speke with s'' ff. Jobson for to knowe of hym 
3 ^^^■'^t Bell(' & howe manye in nombre dyd appteign 
^ ^ to the late prioryes of Chyksande M'gate, Caldcwell, 

\ Busshemede & Harrowe and who hadde them. 

( To callc uppon thcxec. & admynystrators of s"" John 
Thexec &: admynyst' J Gostwyke K. for \\]ff. of lede of the late ffryers of 
of s"" John Gostwyke"] Bedd. by hym. taken towardc byldyng^ att 

V Wyllyngeton as Mr Stepneth informeth.t 

There are also other documents of the same date giving some 
information as to lead and bells : one says : — 



* Site granted 12 June, 1554 {Fat. R. + Land Revenue Records. Church Goods 

I Mary, part 6). 447 

1) y 



The Belles 



The leade 



' clix^ ixr. \\]lil>. 



C/mrck Bells. 

Thofifice of Gregory Richardson Auditor of the Prestes 
Com. Bedf. 

Chykesaunt [blank] 

M'gate iij 

Caldewelle vj 

Elstowe iij 

Newnehame vj 

Harrolde ij 

Busshemeade [ blank] 

' The leade of the Monastery^ [' s ' struck ' 
through with peii\ of Chykesand \^'- M^gate 
Caldewell Busshemeade o^ Harrolde dothe " 
struck through with pe?i\ amounte as 
apperithe in Mr Jobson's accompte de 
Anno xxxij^° where he tooke the allow- 
aunce for caryage of the said leade ffrome 

^ Chykesand to Amptill 

Wherof delyvered to Auncelyne Salvage by 
warraunte lxxj_^ v^. j q^rter iij//^. And so 
wantithe — ^_ viij^ 

The warrant under which this portion of the lead of Chyke- 
sand was delivered was dated London, the 22nd of December, 
1 55 1, and was addressed by Sir Richard Sakeville and Sir 
Walter IVTyldemay to Mr. Smyth, Surveyor of Bedfordshire ; 
it was an order to deliver the metal to " Acelyne [Anceleine] 
Salvage, Marchaunte of Jeane [? Genoa].* 

There is also preserved another document, substantially the 
same as the one just quoted, but it has the addition of the 
weight of bell-metal at the left-hand corner at top, thus : — 
" xv". di iiij/z<^." 



* Land Ecv^nuc Records, Church Goods, 447 



Church Bells. 1 9 

Notwithstanding the Commissions issued in the reign of 
Edward VI., and the measures taken to prevent it, the 
occasional robbery of churches still went on. Queen Elizabeth, 
soon after her accession, tried to stop the mischief by issuing 
a Proclamation, in which it was said : — 

That some patrons of churches and others who were possessed of 
impropriations, had prevailed with the parson & parishioners to take or 
throw down the bells of churches or chapels & the lead of the same, & 
to convert the same to their private gain, by which ensued not only the 
spoil of the said churches, but even a slanderous desolation of the houses 
of prayer. 

Therefore it was commanded : — 

That no manner of person should from thenceforth take away any bells 
or lead off any church or chapel under pain of imprisonment during Her 
Majesty's pleasure, & such further fine for the contempt as shall be 
thought meet.* 

As is the case with the inquiry of 1549, so it is with that of 
1552, so far as regards Bcdfoixlshire ; neither the Certificate 
of the local Commissioners, nor a complete set of the Returns 
from the different parishes can be found, and so the number of 
Church Bells in this county at that time cannot be ascertained. 
Judging from the existing Returns from thirteen parishes then 
sent in, and which I have recently found in the Public Record 
Office, the Church Bells of Bedfordshire have suffered very 
little loss in numbers since that time. In the thirteen parish 
churches to which I refer, there were in the year 1552 
forty-nine large bells and five sanctus bells ; in the same 
churches now there hang sixty large bells and two Priests' 



Quoted in Htylyii's Hist, of Reformation, ii. p. 339. 



20 Church Bells. 

bells. These existing Returns are, most of them, very explicit 
in the description of the bells, some giving the estimated 
weight, as at Tingrith, and others giving the exact measure- 
ment of each bell, as at Salford. It must not be supposed 
from this praiseworthy state of things that the people of 
Bedfordshire were altogether proof against the temptations of 
the times. There is extant a letter, dated from Westminster, 
1 6th May, 1556, signed by William Berners, Thomas Mildmay, 
and John Wyseman, and addressed to Thomas Strynger, of 
M eppershall, in this county, yeoman, by which he is ordered 
to appear in person before the writers at Westminster on the 
first day of Trinity Term then next, to answer concerning the 
detention of church goods formerly belonging to the parish 
church of Meppershall. There is also another letter from 
Thomas Hemmynge, of Arlesey, touching the order so given 
to Stringer, in which he excuses his (Stringer s) attendance at 
Westminster on the plea that "my neyghbour ys an olde 
man and not used to iorney," and enclosing his answer 
" concerninge the premises," which closes with a retort upon 
one of his supposed accusers — John Leventhorpe the elder, 
gentleman, of Meppershall — and says that he must needs 
speak of the " ymbeaselynge " of certain goods by the said 
Leventhorpe, which were not put in the Inventory : — 

"Imprimis he had a saunce belle hangynge yn the belfrey & converted 
the same to his owne use & never payd one peny therfore and by 
estymacon to be sold iiij markes or thereaboughtes." * 

The inhabitants of Sandy, too, were at the same time called 



-■' Land Revenue Recorsd. Church Goods, 442, P.R. off. 



Church Bells. 2 i 

upon to account for two large bells, and made their defence in 

a letter addressed to the Commissioners, which is now 

preserved in the Public Record Office, and will be quoted 

hereafter. 

In later times, too, a few parishes in Bedfordshire, as in 

other counties, lost their bells to save the pockets of the 

ratepayers. In 1S09, when the tower of their ancient church 

was taken down, the people of Lidlington sold four bells ; 

about sixty years ago Millbrooke lost a bell, and at the same 

time the Ridgmount folk sold three bells to raise money for 

the repairs of their church. Streatley had a bell broken by 

accident, never had it re-cast, and so wasted the metal. In 

1799 Souldrop lost two bells, sold to raise money towards 

building a new and ugly church, which has, happily, been 

replaced by a more suitable building, in which hang three 

new bells. The Wilshampstead people sold, by license of the 

Bishop, three bells, in the year 1742, to keep to meet the 

expense of " repairing the steeple to its ancient dimensions," 

which, however, they failed to do. The good people of 

Arlesey having recently placed a new ring of six bells in their 

steeple, it is, perhaps, hardly fair to repeat against them the 

old distich current in the neighbourhood : — 

' Arlesey, Arlesey, naughty people. 
Sold their bells to mend the steeple !' 

and Sundon is traditionally believed to have sold four bells, 
and to have, very properly, never prospered since. 

Two other causes operated to lessen, if not the number of 
bells, certainly the number of ancient ones, and to necessitate 
the substitution of modern ones in their place — ordinary (and in 



2 2 Church Dells. 

some, not all, cases) unavoidable wear and tear is the cause of 
the gradual loss of a goodly nuniber of ancient bells ; but the 
introduction of change-ringing in the seventeenth century 
produced a still greater havoc among them. Early in that 
century ringing increased in popularity, and Fabian Stedman, a 
printer, resident in Cambridge, who published his Tintinnalogia 
in 1668, is said to have reduced change-ringing to an art. To 
meet this new mode of ringing, important changes in the bells 
became necessary. The old rings consisted, usually, of few 
bells and heavy ones, dignity and grandeur of tone being the 
chief thing sought ; now, however, a larger number of bells, 
and those in musical sequence, was required by Stedman and 
his disciples. This want was usually met by re-casting the 
ring of, say, four heavy bells, into six or eight lighter ones, and 
so increasing the number without buying more metal. By 
this means a large number of our ancient bells disappeared 
from the larger town churches — Dunstable, S. Paul's, Bedford, 
and other churches in this county are examples — and it 
consequently ceases to be a matter of surprise that it is chiefly 
in small rural churches, with few bells, where the temptation 
to change-ringing could not exist, that we chiefly expect, and 
usually find, ancient bells. 

Since Stedman's time the English have continued to be 
most enthusiastic lovers of the melody produced by a ring of 
bells ; indeed, so popular did the art of ringing become after 
the invention of " changes," that England became known as 
the " ringing island." 

Bedfordshire was foremost in this national taste, as is 
shown by a manuscript preserved in the Bodleian Library, 



CJmrch Bells. 23 

Oxford. ■'•" This manuscript is a curious compound of prose, 
poetry, and music, in which English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew 
are used. Although the separate portions were written at 
different dates — the earliest is dated in 1655, ^'^'^ ^s, before 
Stedman published his book on change-ringing — the whole of 
the manuscript is in one hand-writing, excepting the last page, 
which treats of the different modes of worship, which is in 
another, and a later, hand. Without attempting a full de- 
scription of the contents of this manuscript, which would be 
tedious — many of the verses are mere doggrel — enough may 
be quoted to show that change-ringing was then in vogue in 
this county, and that Mr. Palmer, of Bedford, and his team — 
called in the verses "his sons" — were noted rineers. 

After a long title, and ten lines in Latin and English from 
the Apocalypse, the Psalms, and the Prophet Isaiah, we have 

An Epigraiiie 
To Bedford Ringers, especially to M'' Palmer, Principle 
in y' noble Consort 

What is't I heare ? is some ca^lestiall Quire 
Of Angels now descended ; from their higher 
Sacred Mansions Here to ring a Peale 
In th' eares of Mortalls : Thus thinking to steale 
Uy these diuiner Ayres, each mortalls heart 
Into a sublime Rapture ; Quite a part 
From sublunary things ; Or doe I heare 
Th' effect of I'hansy ringing in mine eare ? 
No, no, such Musicke Phansy doth exceede, 
And 'tis too meane from Angels to proceede : 
But, 'tis brave Palmer's Art, which now doth raise 
Such Harmony : Too great for mortall praise, 

* Kawlinsoii, D. 886. 



24 Church Dells. 

Which must confesse 'tis farr beneath ye worth 
Of Palmer and his Sonnes ;* whose happy Births, 
Are celebrated in these quick'ning Straines, 
Which far exceede y<= Ayres of Vulgar braines, 
Who only can admire, not understand 
How you should have your bells so at coniand 



As we with musick meet 

Between ech witty Act in Cornicke-Playes ; 

So all Thy Acts present farr better Layes : 

But yet these Praises to Thy merit due 

Thy sons must by y' right inherit too ; 

For t Faldo,^ Eston,^ Cobbe,^ and Spencer"^ are 

All Roy-all-Consorts in ye same Affaire 

And claime all equall Portions, for none can 

In Ringing well, say Hee's y^ elder man. 

To praise your musique Poetry affords 

Too little witt, and is too poore in words. 

But (though not speake it fully) I will try 

In meeter, to lispe out your melody : 

Yet there's no neede y' I should set it forth, 

When e'vy Bell that's rung, sounds its owne worth. 

Musick's a noble Science ; will revive 

A drooping spirit, and preserve alive 

A melancholly Soul : nay this doth give 

Our Bodies Action, and by this we live 

For all our life, as seu'rall Lessons, is 

By our Souls, on ; th' Organs, of our bodies 

Play'd into seu'rall Actions : But as 

Some Instruments we know, doe farr surpasse 

Others for Musicke ; So y= Wide-mouth'd Bell 

None other Musique 'ere could paralell. 



*'" P'ellow Ringers Because He was ye most f "Viz. aMathse,' ^ Andreas, cEdm', 
ancient and best of them." d Nicola' Gen'. " 



Church Bells. 25 

As some One will better musique make, 
Than He that to doe best doth under take, 
So, you and your Societie excell 
All other yt could ever ring a Bell : 
Then go you on, as you have well begun 
That all may grieved be, when yee have done. 

Et paulb post 

They only now who with the Times can change 
Are men of great esteeme : methinks 'tis strange ; 
That noble — Bedford — Ringers should be then 
(When they so well can change) no greater men. 

From these lines (to which is appended the name, as writer, 
of John Tabor, of S. John's College, Cambridge, 1655) we 
learn that the band consisted of five men, whose names are 
given ; five is now the favourite number of bells in Bedfordshire 
steeples, more than one-third of the whole of the churches 
having that number. 

After this " Epigrame," we have from the pen of the same 
John Tabor : — 

An Exasticke presented to Mr. Palmer & y« rest of y' Consort 

from which we gather that they had then recently been rather 
neglecting the " exercise ;" the writer inquires : — 

What ? sure Thy dextrous hand hath not The ccchoing Bell to guide forgot 
Or, hath Thync owne Sons lately to Thee disobedient growno ? 

We have next thirty-four lines written in April, 1657, by 
"T. W. Scoto-Britann' ^tatis circu octogesimum,'' in honour 
of Palmer and "his sonnes & Children deare ": those arc 

D 



26 Church Bells. 

succeeded by some of equal merit, sic^ned "J. Dalt : S.S. 
The : P * — 57° " and closing with : — 

Say, lire not Bells of a diviner Birth 
Fiddles are made by men, but of y'= earth. 
England's y^ Ringing He may I divine ? 
Palmer's the second Englands Palmerine. 
Now go &: prosper still, returne agen 
I am your Priest, will Gierke be tod. Amen, 

Edmund Allen, of Wootton, was the writer of the next verses, 
in 1655, addressed : — 

To ys much admired Bedfordian Company of Ringers : 
Especially Mr. Oliver Palmer, Chiefe of y' Musicall 
Society. 

It was my Chance lately abroad to be 
In place where I Bell-musicke sweet did heare, 
Still I did stand, minding those straines so high, 
"Which at y^ first, strange to me did appeare : 
Such sublime Sallies in y^ same I found 
That I was forced a while to stand my ground. 



'Tis not for nothing y*^ Thy Name is blowne 

So far abroad y' there be Hundreds can 

Discourse of Palmer though Thou beest not known 

To them but by Thy Bellgohandlican : 

Thy Silken-Rope is up so everywhere 

That Thou a Grace art to our Bedfordshiere 



These lines show the delight with which change-ringing, then 
a new art, was heard; they also refer to the "silken rope' 



S. T. P., i.e. D.D. I suppose. 



Church Bells. 27 

with which Palmer evidently rang his bell. " Thy silken 
rope" is also mentioned in the " Exastickc " to which 
reference has just been made ; and " T. W." further says : — 

When hempcn-Ropc doth hurt his hand 
For silken-Rope Hee's at no stand. 

Then follow some pedantic lines by an anonymous writer, in 
the form of a letter addressed "To his much esteemed Mr. 
Oliver Palmer in Bedford, these," and commencing- " Melodious 

gr." 

This curious manuscript-book — on p. 38 b. of which is 
written " Thomas Mollas his Book " — further contains twenty 
lines of Latin elegiac Verses " In laudem Vellentium & Pul- 
santium Campanaru," by Samuel Luke, of Aubersley, 
Huntingdonshire, who writes of five bells and one hundred 
and twenty changes ; about thirty-six pages devoted to " \'ox 
Campanaru," comprising Psalm tunes and sets of changes on 
four, five, and six bells, written in Hebrew letters instead of 
figures, others in which Greek letters are used as well as 
Hebrew,* and concludes with an account of " a six-fold 
manner of praising y^ Lord, Mentall, Monumentall, Chordall, 
Cordiall, Vocall, and Actuall"! 

If other evidence were necessary to show that change- 
ringing was popular in this County in the early da3's of its 
existence, the well-known and often quoted anecdote of John 
Bunyan as an enthusiastic ringer at P^lstow might be 
mentioned. There are also other reasons for thlnkinL*" that 



* The Rev. J. T. Fowler, F.S.A., has set Mr. Ell.ncombe's Bells of tht Chtinh, pp. 
two of the tunes in musical notation for 301-4. 



28 Church Bells. 

the love of It continued for some years afterwards. In 1733 
the Rev. Samuel Roe, Vicar of Stotfold, was a " Cambridge 
Youth," and as such would hardly fail to keep alive in his 
neighbourhood the love of bell music. In 1745, when the 
parishioners of S. Paul's, Bedford, increased their ring from 
five bells to eight, the Common Council paid six guineas to 
eight men from St. Nicholas, Cornhill, London, for ringing 
the opening peals. It is hoped that the emulation of the then 
local ringers was stirred up by that proceeding, and that they 
soon became as expert as their friends from London. 

Twenty years later, whether the art was still well practised 
or not, It Is evident that the love of Church Bells and their 
music was still strong in the County. The Rev. Samuel 
Rogers, who was Rector of Chelllngton from 1758 to 1768, 
wrote " a Poem addressed to a Bell Founder and Chime 
Maker," which, though long, is so good in many of its lines 
that an apology for its introduction here Is hardly necessary : — 

Since you, good Sir, (whose fame each Country tells 

For founding, hanging, and attuning Bells.) 

Since you, to them adjust harmonious Chimes, 

Soft, artful echo of the poet's rhimes. 

The muse, in verse with pleasure shall relate 

Thy Art, assistant both to Church and State. 

She means not. Sir, her time and pains to waste 

On tinkling Hand-bells of inferior cast ; 

What Stentor rings, with gravity of phiz. 

To usher in the importance of " O Yez." 

Nor those which, jingling from the foremost load. 

Cheer each slow-footed pack-horse on the Road. 

Nor those that ring a thousand times a day 

Whom waiters, maids, and footmen all obey. 



Chtirch Bells. 29 

Far nobler themes I sing, the lofty power 

Of sound, from yon old venerable tower. 

Which in loud clangor rends the echoing air, 

When happy Damon weds the blooming fair. 

Or furious Britons on th' embattled plain, 

Vanquish'd their foes, the fields' great masters reign. 

When Roman heroes with the spoil of wars 

Approach'd the city in triumphal cars. 

While gladsome p?eans hail'd the glorious day 

And frcsh-cuU'd flowers bestrew'd the public way 

Had bells but rung, complete had been their joys, 

And fuller shouts of triumph rent the skies. \ 

Ev'n fancy now, brings to my ravish'd ears, 

Notes like the fam'd music of the spheres. 

Hark ! they come floating on each spreading gale 

Down Tyber's stream, thro' all the neighbouring vale. 

From Jove's high Capitol how strong they sound, 

And Rome's seven hills re-echo all around. 

The nice divisions viols boast, the harp 

Abounds with strings, whose notes are flat and sharp, 

Tho' various stops the solemn Organ grace, 

The sprightly treble, and majestic bass. 

Yet say what bass, what treble can excel 

The chearful matin, or the funeral knell ? 

What note like that which sounds from Paul's high dome, 

From Oxford, or fam'd Lincoln's mighty Tom ? 

What diapason like their lofty hum ? 

Nor less have Bells our passions at command 

Than vocal choir, or instrumental Band ; 

When the deep sound tolls slow o'er solemn biers. 

See ! pity droops, and sorrow sheds her tears. 

But whene'er gay festivities draw nigh. 

And happy seasons call forth public joy. 

What notf.'s more lively can our senses know. 

Than the loud changes, which melodious flow, 

From Ikide's, Saint Martin's, Michael's, Overy's, Bow, 

And thence convey 'd along the bordering streams. 



30 Church Bells. 

Rejoice each village on the banks of Thames ? 

When Bells hail in great George's natal day, 

When every village, every town is gay. 

On market-hills, when crackling bonfires blaze, 

While ev'ry street rebellows with huzzas, 

Then, then our souls true patriot pleasures feel 

As each high steeple gives the joyous peal ; 

In every tavern honest healths go round, 

And Jacobites grow loyal ev'n by sound. 

Let Handel play, and Frasi charm the fair 

With Op'ra songs, and soft Italian air. 

Our country swains with greater pleasure hear 

Famed Majors, Caters, Triples, and Grandsire, 

Which while they ring sonorous, clear and sweet, 

The face of commerce smiles along the street ; 

Their merry sounds ev'n some refreshment yield 

To toiling husbandmen amidst the field ; 

Let skilful Germans, with their hands and feet. 

Still play their chimes, and labour still and sweat, 

Far more the barrel does our wonder move. 

Which strikes the hammers on the bells above. 

Taught thus with sounds melodious to prolong 

Playford's grave psalm or Purcel's tuneful song. 

No longer Albion, for the time to come. 

Shall raise her armies by the beat of drum. 

Her youth but coldly mind what Captains say 

Of pleasant qudrters, or of present pay ; 

But when they hear, in notes exalted higher, 

" Britons strike home " from yonder sacred spire, 

Their spirits kindling at the martial song, 

Rush furious to " revenge their Country's wrong." 

In vain a sister bids her brother stay, 

In vain invents new causes of delay. 

In vain the mother would her son detain. 

And black-eyed Susan sheds her tears in vain. 

See the brave lads, whilst brighter glory charms. 

Resistless break from their opposing arms. 



Church Bells. 3 1 

Cheerful to war in burning climes they run, 

As if, the labour of the harvest done. 

They meant themselves a while but to regale, 

With merry dancing, and with cakes and ale. 

Nor here forget the pious founder's care 

When notes discordant strike th' offended ear ; 

Soon as the constant sounds are known, 

He pares off all excressences of tone, 

Studious examines all, till all agree. 

Note following note in truest harmony. 

Thus bards retrench each rough poetic draught, 

And lop off all redundancy of thought, 

Correcting long what they had wrought too soon, 

Smooth each harsh line, and turn them into tune. 

Proceed, great man, whose fam'd mechanic hand 

Works wondrous service to thy native land \ 

Proceed, till chimes, by thy auspicious art. 

Raise noblest passions in each British heart ; 

Proceed, till sciueamish schismatics shall deign 

To hear their sounds, nor think their music vain. 

No longer Bells with Popery condemn. 

But, turn'd to peace, learn harmony from them. 

Hence village swains thy bells and fame shall raise, 

The muse you aid shall chime in grateful lays 

And every town ring loudly of thy praise.* 

• The Rev. Samuel Rogers (the son of the above copy is from A Key to the Art of 
Rev. Benj. Rogers, who was Rector of Ringing. By Jones, Reeves & Blackmore 
Chellington for upwards of fifty years, and (p. 278), published, probably, in the year 
died in 1771, aged 85 years), was Rector of 1796. The circumstances under which the 
Chellington-cuni-Carlton for about ten years— poems was written, and the name of the 
namely, from March, 1758, when he was in- founder addressed, are alike unknown. It 
stituted, until the year 1768, when he resigned will be seen that neither the bells of Carlton 
Chellington for a living in Northamptonshire. nor of Chellington arc of that date. The 
It was during his residence in Bedfordshire Rev. Samuel Rogers was subsequently Rector 
that he wrote the above poem. I do not of Husbands-Bosworth, in Leicestershire, 
know where the lines were first printed; it He jHiblisheil two volumes of Poems (Svo.) 
may have been in a volume of poems he is in 17S2, printed at Hath, in whicli an in- 
said to have published early in life. The dirferent portrait of him is given. lie married 



32 Church Bells. 

In 1 80 1 we find a record of the Society of College Youths 
ringing 5040 Grandsire Triples at Leighton Buzzard, but it is 
evident that the love of change-ringing had then waned in 
Bedfordshire. Since that time, and until quite recently, the 
bells of the county — speaking generally — have been much and 
sadly neglected. Many of the rings have been allowed to fall 
into a deplorably dilapidated condition. But, as it may be 
accepted as an axiom that whenever real ringing is unknown 
dirt and neglect of all matters connected with the bells and 
belfry reign supreme, it is satisfactory to know that a 
" Bedfordshire Association of Change-ringers " has recently 
been formed. It has been originated mainly by the exertions 
of Mr. Charles Herbert, of Woburn, who has spared neither 
time nor energy in endeavouring to bring about a better state 
of things in the belfries of his County. Being himself an 
enthusiastic ringer, he has imbued others with a love for bell 
music, and also by inculcating the proper use of bells as 
" ornaments " of the Church, he has enlisted — as he well 
deserves to do — the sympathy and co-operation of very many 
of the clergy and gentry of Bedfordshire in the welfare of the 
new Society, which will, it is hoped, be the means of reviving 
that love for change-ringing which we have seen was so well 
understood here two hundred years ago. 

Miss Catherine Peers, but died, without issue, Mr. John Rogers, of Chellington, who 

at the Close, Salisbury, in July, 1790. possesses a manuscript diary of remarkable 

For these biographical particulars about events kept by the above named Rev. Benj. 

the Rev. Samuel Rogers, I am indebted to Rogers, the father of the poet, 
the kindness of a representative of his family, 



THE CHURCH BELLS OF 
BEDFORDSHIRE. 



^xx* 



THERE are now in the Bedfordshire Churches 564 
Church Bells. That number includes 22 Priests and 
other small ones. The 542 large bells are thus distributed : — 

8 Rings of 8 bells 64 

13 Rings of 6 bells 78 

47 Rings of 5 bells 235 

18 Rings of 4 bells 72 

1 8 Rings of 3 bells 54 

8 Rings of 2 bells 16 

Single bells 23 

542 

To the 564 Church Bells may be added, as worthy of notice, 
the clock bell at Battlesden House, thus making a total of 
565 bells to be described. 

Of these 565 bells, only the small number of 53, or about 
9 per cent., can be said to have been cast before the year 
1600, being a smaller proportion of ancient bells than is found 
in Leicestershire (i4f per cent.), Northamptonshire (loj per 
cent.), Lincolnshire (17^ per cent.), or Rutland (16 per cent.) 

There is only one complete ring of ancient bells hanging in 
this county — that of three at Hockliffe. 

E 



34 ^/^^ CInu'ch Dells of BcdfordsJiii^e. 

The Dedications and Legends of these 53 ancient bells 
may be thus classified : — 

Two (Staughton Parva 4th and Wymington 4th) are 
inscribed 

.Sit ^omcn [IDomini ^cncUictfam ; 

one (Maulden 1st) has the joyous 

another (Old Walden 3rd) has the prayer : — 

One bell (Northill ist) is dedicated to the Archangel Gabriel, 
one (Cople 4th) to the Archangel Michael, and one (Wyming- 
ton 5th) to the Archangel Raphael. 

Eight of these ancient bells are dedicated to, bear 
inscriptions relating to, or addressed to, the Blessed Virgin 
Mary in these forms : — 

at Salford (3rd). Sundon (single), and Thurleigh (5th) ; 

ja-^©^ m^j^^^^^j^ ©mj^^iii ^j^i^^mm- 

on the ancient Sanctus-bell at Dunstable ; 

at Edworth (3rd) and Milbrooke (ist) ; the 3rd bell at 
Hawnes has the unusual inscription: — 



The CJmrch Bells of Bedfordshire. 35 

and the 4th at Kempston (what is Intended for) — 

One bell (Campton 3rd) is dedicated to S. Andrew ; one 
(Hockliffe ist) to S. Augustine ; one (Willington 5th) to 
S. Christopher ; two (Carlton 4th and Harlington 4th) to 
S. John ; two (Chellington 4th and Wilden 2nd) to S. 
Katherine ; one (Carlton 3rd) to S. Martha, a very unusual 
dedication; three (Eyeworth ist, Hockliffe 3rd, and Tingrith 
3rd) to S. Margaret ; one (Wymington 3rd) to S. ^lary 
Magdalene ; one (Chalgrave ist) to S. Nicholas ; one 
(Campton 2nd) to S. Paul ; two (the Priest's bell at Lidlington 
and Stotfold 2nd) to S. Peter; and one (Hockliffe 2nd) to 
S. Thomas. Ten of these bells (Bolnhurst 2nd and 3rd, 
Clapham 3rd, Clifton 8th, Harlington 5th, Houghton Regis 
5th, Maulden 3rd, Meppershall ist, Tingrith ist, and 
Willington 4th) have the names of the founders only ; one 
(Northill 2nd) has the names of the donors only ; two (Hulcote 
2nd and 3rd) have the names of both founders and donors. 
Two other of these ancient bells (Fandish 3rd and Harlington 
ist) have the invitation — 

(STTTxn crvxn i^xrxy ^y\n-^j\ 

One (Studham 3rd) calls upon all listeners to 

PRIES THE LORD; 
another (Thurleigh 2nd) has the loyal prayer — 



36 The Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 

Two bells at Clifton (two of four which evidently bore originally 
on each a single line of a complete verse) say : — 

^OWM :pj^©rs i5tr@ri^:i^ ©Tr:Ei rnM^^i^. 

On one of these ancient bells (the 4th at S. Mary's, Bedford) 
there are founders' stamps only, and on another (Roxton 3rd) 
the date only. 

The earliest dated bell in Bedfordshire is the 5th at 
Houghton Regis, cast in 1580; the largest is the single bell 
given to the new church at Woburn by the Duke of Bedford 
in 1867 — it weighs two tons fifteen hundredweight; and many 
people consider the most interesting one to be the 4th at 
Elstow, called *' Bunyan's bell," of which more will be said 
hereafter, when the bells of that parish are described. 




I 



THE BEDFORDSHIRE 
BELLFOUNDERS. 



THE only permanent Bellfoundry at present known to 
have been established in this county was carried on 
during the greater part of the eighteenth century at Wootton, 
a village live miles south-west of Bedford. 

THOMAS RUSSELL, who was a clock and watch 
maker as well as a bellfounder, supplied the ist bell at 
Aspley Guise, and the 2nd at Harlington, in the year 1715, 
those being the earliest bells in this county from his foundry. 
He was married twice, and had six children — three sons and 
three daughters. His first son, John, died in his infancy, but 
Thomas, baptized 8th February, 1707-8, and William, baptized 
27th September, 1710, were, in due time, associated with 
their father in the foundry. On the 3rd bell at Wootton, 
dated 1736, we find " Thomas Rvssell, William Rvssell fecit," 
and on the ist and 4th bells at Bromham we read, " Thomas 
Rvssell of Biddenham and William Rvssell of Wootton 
made me in 1739." The Biddenham Registers indicate that 
the residence of Thomas Russell the younger in that parish 
was only temporary, apparently extending from about the 
year 1734 to the year 1740, during which period he had three 
sons baptized there ; but no entries relating to the family arc 



38 The Bed/or dJiire Bcllfotmders. 

found after the last mentioned date. Thomas Russell, the 
elder (who supplied bells still hanging in this county, dated 
from, as just said, the year 171 5 to the year 1743, when he 
sent bells to Barton-le-CIay, Thurleigh, and Westoning) died 
in 1744-5 ; the Parish Register of Wootton says he was 
buried on the 22nd of January in that year, and describes him 
as " Clock-maker and Bellfounder." The Russells used no 
inscriptions upon their bells in this county beyond their names 
as founders, and those of churchwardens. They, rarely, used 
a vine as a border-ornament, as on the 5th bell at Sandy. 
They used a plain cross occasionally — though not generally — 
as an initial, as at Thurleigh ; placed many impressions 
of coins amongst their inscriptions, and not unfrequently, as 
on Stotfold treble, gave an impression of a Pentacle, the 
five-point star of modern Freemasonry, which denotes the 
five points of fellowship, and that the man using it was a 
master mason ; no doubt, at the revival of Masonry in 171 7, 
and onwards, men would be proud of showing that they 
belonged to the craft. Upon the death of Thomas Russell, 
the foundry at Wootton appears to have been closed for some 
years ; we find no bells bearing the name of Russell after the 
year 1 743, so it may be presumed that the sons of Thomas 
Russell did not carry on the business after the death of their 
father. A quarter of a century subsequently to that event the 
Wootton foundry was reopened by 

WILLIAM EMERTON, whose father, John Emerton, 
of Marston Moretaine, married Hannah Gary, of Wootton, on 
the Sth of January, 1699-1700, as is recorded in the Wootton 
Register. Their son W'illiam, who married Mary Warren in 



The Bedfordshire Dellfoiinders. 39 

1766, is described in the entry of marriage in the Wootton 
Register as a "Clockmaker." Upon his marriage he com- 
menced business as a Bellfounder in Wootton, sending the 
4th bell to Ampthill in the year 1768, and continuing to 
supply bells to various churches in the county until the year 
1789, the date upon the 3rd bell at Eversholt. He sent an 
entire ring of five to Tilsworth in the year 1776, and six to 
Biddenham in 1787. On the 5th bell at Eversholt he claims 
the credit of casting " this peal," but is contradicted by the 
bells themselves, three of which were cast by Miles Graye 
about a century before Emerton was born. Like his pre- 
decessors, the Russells, he seldom used any inscription on his 
bells beyond his own name and those of churchwardens— the 
5th bell at Eversholt, however, is an exception to his general 
rule. He, too, was partial to a display of coins, and on the 
4th at Stanbridge, and on bells at Tilsworth, he shows the 
Pentacle. 

The site of the Wootton foundry — of which there are now 
no indications — is now occupied by the "Star Inn," and the 
local tradition is that the last founder was ruined, and his 
foundry brought to a close, by the inability of the parish of 
S. John Baptist, Bedford, to pay for three bells which he cast 
for it, and which bells are said to have been " lying kicking 
about in the orchard " for some time afterwards. No record 
of the death of William Emerton has been found. 

In addition to the permanent foundry worked at Wootton, 
there were certainly two, if not more, temporary ones set 
up in the county for short periods, a not uncommon occur- 
rence in the days of bad roads, and when, consequently 



40 TIic BedfovdsJiire Bellfotmders. 

movement of heavy weights like church bells was a difficult 
process. 

On the lly-leaf of the oldest Register Book belonging to the 
parish of Hargrave, Northamptonshire, commencing in 1572, 
is the following entry : — 

John Smith Gierke 

January 13 anno 1599 
the lytle bell was cast at bedford 
this year 1599 by newcn 
tho. browne Junior Ed. Aspyn Churchwardens 
the same yeare 

This Hargrave bell was evidently cast at a furnace set up at 
Bedford by Edward Newcombe, or by one of his three sons, 
who were, about that time, associated with him in the Leicester 
foundry.* One of the earlier Newcombes had already sent, 
as will be noticed hereafter, a bell (which is still hanging) to 
Carlton, but they did not, probably, set up their temporary 
foundry at Bedford until about the time they cast, the 
Hargrave bell — 1599. An examination of the other bells, 
twenty-eight in number, supplied by the Newcombes, and 
still hanging in Bedfordshire churches, shows that they range 
in date from 1602 at Blunham (2nd and 3rd), and Sandy (4th), 
to 161 7 at Felmersham (2nd and 4th) and Goldington 
(3rd). Of these, nine, ranging in date from 1602 to 1607 
(viz., Barton-le-Clay, ist, 2nd and 3rd ; Blunham, 2nd and 
3rd ; Elstow, 5th ; Roxton, 2nd ; Sandy, 4th, and Shillington, 
3rd), bear the usual seventeenth century inscription of the 
Leicester Newcombes : — * 

■"' See North's Church Bells of Leicestershire, p. 54. 



The Bedfordshire Bellfoiuiders. 41 

+ BE • YT • KNOWN E • TO • ALL • THAT • DOTH • ME • SEE 
THAT • NEWCOMBE • OF • LEICESTER • ^L\I)E • ME 

preceded by their initial cross, fig. i,herc engraved, and were, 
most probably, supplied direct from the Leicester 
foundry. A second batch of ten, ranging in date 
'^"^r***^! from 1604 to 161 3 (namely, Bedford, S. Mary 
/—A I ^fj^ Cranfield 2nd and 3rd, Husbornc Crawley 



^ 2nd and 6th, Milton Ernest ist, 4th and 5th. 

Northill 5th, and Sharnbrook 4th) are inscribed, without any 
initial cross : — 

NEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME; 

and the remaining nine bells, ranging in date from 161 i to 
161 7 (viz., Edworth 2nd, Felmersham 2nd and 4th, Houghton 
Regis 3rd, Husborne Crawley 4th, Keysoe 3rd, Pavenham 
4th, and Tempsford 4th) are inscribed, without any initial 
cross, or any reference to Leicester : — 

NEWCOME MADE ME. 

Most probably the second series of Newcombe's bells were 
(as indicated by the absence of the usual initial cross and the 
change in the form of inscription and lettering) cast at Bedford, 
and the same may, with more certainty, be said of the third 
series, upon which the word Leicester no longer appears ; 
indeed, the latest dated bells of the Newcombes in Leicester- 
shire are in the year 1612, about which time their foundry 
there was merged into, or eclipsed by, that of Hugh Watts. 

We are indebted to the Account Books of Jesus College, 
Cambridge, for knowing that Christopher Graye (probably a 



42 The Bedfordshire Bellfotuiders. 

son of Miles Graye, a noted founder at Colchester, to whom 
reference will hereafter be made) set up his foundry for a 
short time at Ampthill, in this county. Amongst other 
charges in the College books in the year 1658-9 is — 

Paid to Christopher Gray of Ampthil in Bedfordshire 

Bellfounder for new casting of the Chappell Bell . . 06 15 00* 

He was an itinerant, having, it seems, been casting bells in 
Staffordshire, and after his sojourn at Ampthill he went to 
Haddenham, where he resided for some fourteen or fifteen 
years.t 

There are a dozen of his bells still remaining in this county ; 
the earliest were cast in 1655, the latest (Ampthill 3rd) is 
dated 1665. He placed no further inscription upon any of 
them than the bare announcement — 

CHRISTOPHER GRAYE MADE ME, 

with, sometimes, a star of dots between each word. 

From the large number of bells still hanging in Bedfordshire, 
cast between the years 1589 and 1639 by members of the 
Watts family, who had a considerable foundry at Leicester at 
that time, it might be inferred that they, like their neighbours, 
the Newcombes, had likewise a foundry somewhere in this 
county ; but as there is, at present, no documentary evidence 
forthcoming to support that supposition, we must refer to their 
bells hereafter under a brief notice of the Leicester founders. 



• Coniniunicated liy Mr. J. W. Clarke, M.A., Trin. Coll., to Dr. Raven. See Church 
Bells oj Cambyidgcshirc^ 2nd Ed., p. 202. f Ibid, p. 89. 



OTHER FOUNDERS 



OF 



BEDFORDSHIRE BELLS. 



LEAVING the Bells already enumerated as cast by 
Founders within the County of Bedford, we pass on to 
notice those cast by other founders, known and unknown, 
ancient and modern. 

The ancient bells first claim attention, and then brief notes 
upon those of more recent date will follow. 

This elaborate and curious 
founder's stamp is found on the 
2nd and the 3rd bells at Campton. 
It was long a puzzle to cam- 
panists ; by some, from the fiirure 

f^^ r ^ ^^^ ''^.i^ I of the bird and the letter P below 
/^^^^^^^P^ rll5^ ^^^ clapper of the bell, the 
L-««saHra>is^?^^iL] <X\i founder's name was conjectured 

to be William Peacock ; others 
thought that the name William 
Bird, or William Sparrow, was 
suggested by the words on th(! 
shield, Jn li'no CO'flbo, an allusion 




44 Gthcr Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

being imagined to the continuation of the verse of the Psalm, 
" How say ye then to my soul that she should flee as a bird 
unto the hill." These guesses of the rebus, however, as Dr. 
Raven shows in his recently printed Church Bells of 
Cambridgeshire,^ have been finally disposed of by Mr. A. 
Daniel-Tyssen, who, by the discovery of his will, has shown 
the name of the founder to be William Culverden ("Culver" 
being, as Dr. Raven points out, an old word for pigeon, 
probably corrupted from Columba), who was carrying on his 
business in 1510, in which year his name occurs in the parish 
accounts of S. Mary-at-Hill, London. In his will, which is 
dated the 29th September, 1522 — shortly before his death — 
he describes himself as "William Culverden, citezen and 
brasier of London and parishioner of the parishe of Sanct. 
Botulph without Algate of London." He gives directions 
touching "all and singular my belmolds and implements w' all 
other stuffe w'in the said house grounde and shedds necessarye 
and belonging to the crafte or science of Bellfounders or 
brasiers." His bells, though not numerous, are found in 
Kent, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Dorset, Cambridge- 
shire, and, as we see, in this county. The inscriptions on the 
Campton bells are in small gothic letters, each word having 
a very bold gothic crowned capital ; the 2nd bell is enriched, 
in addition to the founder's shield, with the pretty cross here 
engraved fig. 3, and the 3rd with the cross fig. 4 also here 
given. The cross fig. 3 is also on the 4th bell at Harlington, in 



* 2nd Ed., pp. 42-46. 



Other Foimders of Bedfordshire Bells. 45 

company with its neighbour fig. 4, a coin being impressed 





between them ; and the same two crosses (figs. 3 and 4) are 
upon the 4th bell at Staughton Parva, with the shield fig. 5 
between them. Of this little cluster of 
bells it may be well to observe that, 
though the letterings of the Harlington 
and Staughton Parva bells are similar — 
clear black letter, with rather ornate and 
crowned capitals — they are quite distinct 
in character from that upon the; bells 
bearing William Culverden's shield at 
5 Campton. The presence of the shield 

fig. 5 in company with stamps in the same hands as William 
Culverden's shield is rather unexpected. It is found on bells 
in Northamptonshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire, and specially 
in Kent, and has, therefore, been supposed to have belonged 
originally to a founder in that locality. The letter stamps of 
these Kent bells — and so, perhaps, this shield — appear to have 
fallen into the hands of a founder whose initials, J.S., are upon 
bells in several counties. That was also the case with the 




46 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Dells. 



cross fig. 3, which is, with those initials, upon the 3rd bell at 
Tollington, Lincolnshire.* Such bells are supposed by Mr. 
Tyssen, for reasons given in his Church Bells of Sussex, to 
have been cast at Reading, and the presence of the initials 
upon some of them, leads to the inference that they were from 
the foundry of John Satmders, who was casting bells there 
from 1539 to 1559. Looking at the date of William 
Culverden's death (1523), is it not probable that he was the 
founder of some of the Kentish and other bells just referred 
to, and that, though he intended, as is shown by his will, that 
a Thomas Lawrence should succeed to his business, yet, for 
some reason not at present known to us, his stamps, or some 




6 7 

of them, passed into the hands of J. S., the presumed John 
Saunders of Reading ? The last we know of the shield fig. 
5 is that in 1604 it was in the hands of the founder who cast 
the 2nd bell at Kingsbury, Middlesex, in that year. 

The shield with the Royal Arms fig. 7, is found on the 



"' It should also be noted that this cross by campanists to William ffounder, an 
occurs on a bell at South Ornisby, Lincoln- earlier craftsman than Wm. Culverden. 
shire, in company with a shield assigned 



Other Foiindi'i's of Bedfordshire Bells. 



47 



three ancient bells at Hockliffc, and on the 2ncl bell at 
Wilden ; on the ist and 2nd at Hockliffe and on the 2nd at 
Wilden it is accompanied by the initial cross fig. 6, and by 
the stamp fig. 8, and on the 3rd at Hockliffe by the cross 
fig. 6 only. 

A similar shield, ensigncd with a crown, fig. 9, is upon the 
3rd bell at Tingrith, accompanied by the beautiful cross fig. 
10, both here engraved, and by the stamp fig. 8 given above. 



^hc4-^i>. 







9 10 

It has been well observed lh;it the date of the fcnindry 
originally using these shields of the Royal Arms must have 
been subsequendy to 14 13, when Henry V. substituted these 
fleur-de-lys in the first and fourth quarters of his coat instead 
of the semee of (leur-de-lys ; and INIr. J. W. Clark in his 
Paper upon the Bells of Kings College, Cambridge, by 
extracts from the College books, and by his discovery of a 



48 



Church Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



careful drawing of the inscriptions and stamps upon ancient 
bells formerly belonging to that College, goes far to prove — if 
he does not do so indisputably — that these shields of the 
Royal Arms were used as stamps by Henry Jorden, who was 
employed to cast the College bells in 1466, and for which he 
was paid ^40.* 



* See Cambs. Antiq. Society's Coiiuituni- 
cations, No. xxi., p. 223, for Mr. Clark's 
valuable Paper and drawings of those in- 
scriptions. Since writing the above, Mr. 
Stahlschmidt— a former Master of the 
Worshipful Company of Founders, London — 
has very politely sent me a copy of the will of 
" Henry Jorden Citizein and P'yshmonger of 
the citie of London," dated the 1 5th of October, 
146S, and which he obtained from a copy 
preserved by the Fishmongers' Company, 
and collated with another copy enrolled at 
Cuildhall, Henry Jorden by this will be- 
cjueathed his lands and tenements ^in the 
lane called Billiter Llane in the pyshe of 
seynt Katheryn Crechurrche wMn Aldgate of 
London," also " all that mesuage and all the 
apptenns in the said pisshe of saynt 
Katherync beside Crechurche of London 
upon the comr of the said lane of Billiter 
lane of London," and "all my Tenements 
wt their apptenns in the pyshe of seynt 
Brigidc in Fllete streete in the subberbes of 
London," unto "the wardyenes of the 
comynaltie of the mistery or crafte of ffysh- 
mongrs of the said Citie of London," upon 
trust to devote the proceeds to various 
charitable uses, and to the payment of priests 
celebrating his obit annually in several 
churches. The testator appears to have so 
disposed of his real estate in consequence of 
his son, Henry Jorden, being "a monk 
p'fesscd in the house of Horley in Barkshire." 
Whether this Henry Jorden is the same 



man as the Bellfounder mentioned above is 
not certain, for, unfortunately, this will deals 
only with the real estate of the testator. It 
appears not to have been at all unusual at 
that time for men to make two wills — one 
for realty and one for personalty — and so, 
until the other will is found, we are wanting 
in the certain evidence which a description of 
the personal estate of the deceased would give 
as to his trade. Mr. Stahlschmidt's opinion 
is that the first-mentioned property gives the 
site of the foundry, the second that of the 
shop, and the third, perhaps, that of his 
dwelling-house ; that though a fishmonger by 
craft, he was not one by trade, "the trade 
was most strictly confined to three special 
localities, and he had no property in any one 
of them." Further research may produce 
further proof of identification. Certainly the 
date of the will and the locality of the 
property — Billiter (Belzetter or Bellfounders') 
Lane — are in favour of the testator being the 
Bellfounder referred to in the text ; also it 
may be noted that one of his executors was 
" William Chamberleyn Ffounder," and that 
he desires " a quarter of coles " to be given 
annually to " xxti of the poire households 
wtin the crafte of Ffounders dwellyng wtin 
the walks of the citie of London." The 
apparent anomaly of his leaving his property 
to be dealt with by the Company of Fish- 
mongers, rather than by that of the Founders, 
may be explained by the fact that he was a 
member of the former, which was a rich and 



Other Fotmders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



49 



But in addition to the ancient bells in 
this county upon which the Royal Arms 
appear, there are others linked with them 
by bearing some of the other stamps which 
accompany those arms on the bells at 
Hockliffe and Wilden. Thus the cross 
fig. 6 is also on the ist bell at Eyeworth, 
in company with the shield fig. ii, which 
bears a kind of merchant's mark, with I to 
the left and W beneath, and is so found in other places. 
Again the fine cross fig. lo, which is on the Tingrith bell in 
company with the Royal Arms, is also on the 3rd, 4th 
and 5th bells at Wymington, accompanied by the two shields. 
so well known to campanists, and engraved on the next 
page as figs. 12 and 13. 




1 1 



powerful body, the latter a comparatively 
poor and insignificant one ; and it should also 
he notedthat thelicllfoundcrsof that tiniewerc 
not generally called " founders " (which craft 
confined their operations chiefly to the mak- 
ing of candlesticks, laver pots, etc., etc.), hut 
were as often called "braziers" or "potters." 
There was in the fifteenth century a company 
of " bcllmakers," so much we learn from a 
list of Guilds dated 1422 — in the Records of 
the Brewers' Co. — but at present nothing 
more is known about it. There was, how- 
ever, nothing anomalous in a Bellfounder 
being a brother of another and more 
important Guild, and making it the dispenser 
of his property for charitable and religious 
purposes. If it were proved that the Henry 
Jorden under notice was a fishmonger by craft 



and a bellfounder by trade, one would be 
tempted to assign to him — as suggested by 
Mr. Stahlschmidt — the curious stamp en- 
graved on page 50 as fig. 12. The Patron 
Saint of the Fishmongers (in the fifteenth 
century there were two companies — the Stock 
Fishmongers and the Salt Fishmongers ; it is 
of the latter we are now speaking) was S. 
Peter, and the arms of the Company were 
azure three cross-keys saltire wise, or, on 
which a chief ^iilcs, three dolphins naiant, 
argent. On this bell-stamp we have the cross- 
keys and a dolphin naiant, showing the 
owner's connection with the Fishmongers' 
Company, and in addition we have the bell 
and the laver pots, the recognised marks of 
the bellfounder and brazier. 



H 



50 



Olhcr Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 





13 

The Inscriptions on all these bells at Hockliffe, Wllden, 
Tingrith, Eyeworth, and Wymington are (with the exception 
of the 5th bell at Wymington, where the only difference Is the 
crowning of the capitals) from the same letter-stamps ; so, too, 
are the inscriptions on the 4th bell at Cople and the 5th at 
Willington, where, however, the initial cross In both cases is 
fig. 15, accompanied by the two shields figs. 14 and 16. This 




14 15 16 

shield (fig. 14)— the Plantagenet Arms of England— which Is 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



51 



upon a bell at S. Clement's, Truro, with fig. 15,* is found on 
a curious bell at S. Mary's, Bedford (the 4th), which also bears, 
without any inscription, in addition to the impression of a coin 
which is unfortunately undecipherable, the four following 
stamps figs. 17, 18, 19 and 20. 




17 




'!IHI(l|l|ll,,i:l'r,r-il|J|. I IM.IIIIIIHIIm 

' niiiicsc. 



EE)€)m0 






I i « 




18 




19 



Church Bells of Gloucestershire, p. 126. 



52 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



It may, it is thought, be safely inferred from the use of the 

same letter-stamps on the bells just enumerated, and from the 

way in which the founder's stamps are linked together, that 

the latter (figs. 1 1 to 20 inclusive), engraved above, all 

belonged either to Henry Jorden himself, or to his immediate 

predecessors or successors in the same foundry. 

Mr. Ellacombe tells us* that the stamp fig. 20 — "the rose 

en soleil, the symbol of Edward IV." — was used by Austin 

Brac/ccr, with "the arms of England, three Lions passant, 

gardant " ; the same is stated in The Church Bells of 

Norfolk.\ It would almost appear as if Henry Jorden was 

partial to these Royal Arms and symbols, and that a generation 

or two after his death some of his stamps fell into the hands 

of this Austin Bracker, who was living and casting bells 

in 1556.I 

Another form of the stamp, 

fig. 17 is upon the ist bell at 
Northill, and is here engraved 
(fig. 21). 

The only other instance at 
present known in which this 
stamp occurs is on the 3rd bell 
at Castle Ashby, Northampton- 
shire, where, as at Northill, 
there is no initial cross. It 
has been suggested that as 
these shields with the initials 
T. B. are found in various parts 




21 



* Bells of the Church, p. 322. 
t p. 56. + Dr. Raven's Church Bells of Cambridgeshire, 2nd Ed., p. 52. 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



53 



of the country, they probably belonged to a London founder, 
and so, possibly, to a man named Bullisdon, whose name 
occurs as a London founder in 15 lo.* But may they not — 
looking at the Bedford bell — with equal probability, have 
belonged to another member of the family of Bracker ? 

A cluster of ancient bells from one and the same foundry — 
with inscriptions in rather thick and clumsy Gothic "smalls," 
with crowned capitals of inadequate size — are found in this 
county, at Carlton (4th), Chalgrave (ist), Maulden (ist), 
Millbrooke (ist), and Salford (3rd). These all bear the cross, 
fig. 22, and the stamp fig. 23 here engraved, and have also an 




indistinct impression of a coin between the stamps ; in addition 
to which, the Carlton, Maulden, and Salford bells have the 
founder's shield fig. 24. Bells with these stamps are found In 



Tyssen's Church Bells of Sussex, p. 15. 



54 



Other Fotmders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



most of the counties of England, 
and are supposed by Mr. Tyssen, 
like those mentioned on p. 46, to 
have been cast at Reading, probably 
by John Saunders (i 539-1 559). 
into whose hands, perhaps, the 
R.L. shield descended from an 
earlier founder. This supposition is 
strengthened by finding his initials, 
J. S., upon several bells bearing 
these stamps ; those initials do not, 
however, appear upon any bells in this county. 

On the 3rd bell at Edworth we find the shield fig. 26 





accompanied by the cross fig. 25 and the stamp fig. 27 all 
here engraved. This shield is found upon bells in 
Cambridgeshire with the cross fig. 25, and upon the 2nd and 
3rd bells at Mumby, Lincolnshire. 



Other Foiuiders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



55 




2S 



The small initial cross, fig. 28, is upon 
the 4th bell at Kempston, the 2nd at 
Stotfold, and the 3rd at Warden, in each 
case preceding an inscription in equally 
small and neat Gothic capital letters. This 
cross, and the letters used with it, are 
found upon ancient bells in various counties; 
their date may, perhaps, be approximately arrived at by their 
being used upon a small bell now hanging in Lincolnshire, at 
Magdalen College School, Wainfleet, which school was 
founded in 1484, and very possibly the bell may have been 
cast and placed there at that time, although the form of letters 
used certainly claims an earlier origin. 

There are two Ave Maria bells 
bearing the same initial cross fig. 29 : 
they are the single bell at Sundon, and the 
5th at Thurleigh ; the inscriptions are 
in plain and medium-sized Gothic capitals, 
in both cases from the same letter-stamps. 
The bell at Sundon has also, as an 
intervening stop, the "Royal Head" 
(fig. 30), usually assigned to Edward I. 
This and other '' Royal Heads," well 
known to campanists, are found upon 
ancient and later bells in various localities, 
and frequently in connection with the 
initial crosses figs. 28 and 29. They were 
occasionally used by the later Leicester 
founders, and so late as 1742 they were 




29 




56 



OlJiev Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



placed by Thomas Hcddcrly, of Nottingham, upon the 3rd 
bell at Chaddesden, Derbyshire. 

There is an ancient bell at Chellington, with an inscription 
in Gothic " smalls " with initial capitals, of which, owing to the 
difficulty of access, complete rubbings have not been taken. 
At the close of the Sancta Katerina Ora Pro Nobis are the 
initials of the founder, read by one gentleman as J + D, but 
by Mr. Cary-Elwes, who is probably correct, as J + O.'"' 

The inscription on the interesting Sanctus- 
bell at Dunstable is preceded by the initial 
cross fig. 31 here engraved. The Salutation 
is in Gothic capitals of a small size. If the 
tradition be true that Matilda, the daughter of 
Malcolm, King of Scotland, acted as God- 
mother at the benediction of this bell, it is the most ancient 
bell in the county, Malcolm III. (who had a daughter 
Matilda, wife of Henry I. of England) being King of Scotland 
in the latter half of the eleventh century. 

The last of the ancient bell-stamps found in this county to 






32 



See Dr. Raven's Ch. Bells of Catnb., 2nd Ed., p. 24, for a similar difficulty as to these initials. 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 57 

which attention has to be directed, are those on the 3rd bell at 
Carlton, from the Leicester foundry, with the very unusual 
dedication Hv XHiiXlTJK^ — they are here given as 
figs. 32 and '^^i, and they call for a brief notice of the Leicester 
founders, and of the many bells they supplied (especially 
in the seventeenth century), to the churches of this 
county. 

John of Stafford was probably, for reasons given in TJie 
Church Bells of Leicestershire, a bellfounder in Leicester in 
the middle of the fourteenth century. The first recorded 
founder, however, was William Millers, who died in 1506; 
to him succeeded Thomas Newcombe {pb. 1520), who was 
succeeded by Thomas Belt. He was Mayor of Leicester in 
1529, and died in 1538, when he was succeeded by his 
son-in-law, Robert Nezucombe, who had three sons — Thomas, 
Robert, and Edward — who all became founders. Thomas 
Newcombe, his eldest son, used as a founder's mark the shield 
engraved above as fig. ^iZ^ bearing his initials (very probably 
also used by his predecessor of the same name), and as an 
initial cross the one also engraved above as fig. 32. To this 
Thomas Newcombe, who died in 1 580-1, or more probably, 
from the style of the inscription, to the elder Thomas 
Newcombe, who died in 1520, may be assigned the 3rd bell 
at Carlton, to which reference has just been made. Edward 
Newcombe, the third son of Robert, had himself three sons 
connected with the foundry, and it was probably one of them, 
as the representative of his father, or on his own account, who 
had a foundry at Bedford in the year 1599, as already 

mentioned on page 40. The foundry there would appear to 
I 



58 Other Founders of BedfordsJiire Bells. 

have been at work for a short time after that date, for it has 
already been shown (p. 41) that the Newcombes supplied 
bells to Bedfordshire churches for a few years after they had, 
apparently, closed their foundry at Leicester, where it was 
absorbed, or eclipsed, by that of the famous Leicester founder, 
Hugh Watts. 

Two of the Watts family were casting bells in the sixteenth 
century, respecting whom we have at present little, or no, 
documentary notice. " Hew Watts " placed his name upon the 
1st bell at South Luffenham, Rutland, in 1563. I have made 
a long search for his Will, but without success. In the 
accounts of the churchwardens of S. Martin's, Leicester, for 
1 61 7- 1 8, is a receipt : — 

Item for the bells for olde Mr. Watts & 
buryall in the church xij5 

This was not Francis Watts (to be mentioned presendy), who 
died in 1600, but, possibly, his father, the above " Hew 
Watts." The Watts' foundry, or their house, being in the 
Gallowtree Gate, Leicester, they would be residents in 
S. Martin's parish. The name of William Wales, or 
William Wattes, appears upon the 8th bell at Clifton (where 
there are two others cast by him at the same time — 1590) and 
upon the 5th at Harlington (where the ist was also his handi- 
work), without a date. These are very fine bells, the 
inscriptions being in large ornate Gothic capitals, of which 
the letters 



OtJier Founders of Bedfordshire Bel/s. 



59 







Zl 



are here engraved as examples ; the intervening stop between 
the words on all these five bells is fig. 38, and the founder's 
stamp at the end of the inscription on each is the shield fig. 39, 
both on the next page. To this founder may also be assigned the 
2nd bell at Northill, dated 1589. and bearing the same stamps. 



6o 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells, 








.,;^^,,,^&|2)fl.^-^'^. 





There is no proof at present that these two men were 
Leicester founders ; indeed, it is more probable that William 
Watts had his foundry in Bedfordshire, but Fra7tcis Watts 
appears, with certainty, as such, in 1564, when he bought 
some bell-wheels from the church of St. Peter, Leicester, then 
being taken down. He very rarely placed his name upon his 
bells, the only instance at present known being a bell at 
Bingham, Nottinghamshire, which is inscribed in letters of 
various sizes, badly put together : — " Fraunces Wattes made 
me." He died in the year 1600, his will being proved in that 
year. To him may be assigned (but whether cast in Bedford- 
shire, where he may have continued the foundry upon the 
death of William, or at Leicester, cannot be determined) the 
3rd bell at Fandish, dated 1597, and bearing the shield, fig. 
39, and the 2nd at Thurleigh, dated 1593, which, in addition 
to the same shield, has the intervening stop (found on the 
Leicester bells elsewhere) here engraved, fig. 40. The letters 



Other Fowiders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



6£ 




on these bells are the ornate capitals 
mentioned above as used by William 
Watts. 

The letters and stamps used by these 
early members of the Watts family were 
previously used by the Brazyers, founders 
at Norwich ; it is, therefore, highly prob- 
able that the immediate predecessor of one 
of them had been employed at Norwich, 
and leaving during the temporary closing of the foundry there 
upon the death of Richard Brazyer in 15 13, found his way 
to Bedford or Leicester, bringing some of the old bell-gear 
with him, and opened a foundry there. Francis Watts was 
succeeded in the Leicester foundry by his son, Hugh Watts, 
who speedily obtained a high reputation as a founder. Upon 
the death of his father he placed his name upon a few bells, 
but quickly discontinued the practice, then becoming common 
with founders, of so doing. The ist bell at Dean, and the 5th 
at Kempston, are inscribed " Hugh Wattes made me 1603." 
In addition to these two there are thirty-nine bells still 
hanging in Bedfordshire churches, which were supplied by 
Hugh Watts, and all bearing his stamp, fig, 39. The largeness 
of this number, the way in which they arc grouped, and the 
style of lettering used in the inscriptions, all point to the 
probability of a large proportion of them being cast in this 
county. Finding no mention of William Watts after the 
appearance of his name upon the Clifton and Harlington 
bells (1590), it may be presumed that he died before, or about 
the time of the death of Francis Watts, the father of Huo^h 



62 Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

(a.d. 1600), and that not only the Leicester, but the presumed 
Bedfordshire foundry, in consequence fell into the hands of 
the latter, who, as just stated, placed his name upon the bells 
at Dean and Kempston in the year in which his father died. 
It is curious to note the grouping of inscriptions on the bells 
he next cast for churches in this county. Willington ist has 
the name of the donor; six bells (Campton 4th, Carlton ist, 
Elstow 2nd, Harrold 3rd, Oakley 5th, and Ravensdale 3rd) 
are all inscribed, "Praise the Lord;" two bells (Goldington 
ist, and Harrold 2nd), have the inscription "Come, Come, 
and Pray ;" four others (Goldington 4th, Pavenham 2nd, 
Melchbourne 4th, and Northill 3rd) have loyal in- 
scriptions. All these thirteen bells were cast in the 
year 1600-1603. There was then a pause in the casting 
of bells for Bedfordshire until the year 1609 ; in that and in the 
following year, 1610, Hugh Watts cast at least a dozen (Bedford 
S. Mary 6th, Bedford S. Peter 3rd, Blunham 4th, Dean 3rd, 
the whole ring of five at Marston Moretaine, Puddington 2nd, 
Wilden 3rd [?], and Yielden 4th), all having the alphabet, or 
portions of it, upon them in lieu of inscription. All these bells 
have their inscriptions in the ornate Gothic capitals figured 
above (p. 59), which we have seen were in the hands of 
William W^atts and Francis Watts. Now, although those 
letters were occasionally used by Hugh Watts upon bells cast 
at his Leicester foundry, they appear but rarely, he having 
adopted a rather coarse Roman capital letter for use in his 
inscriptions, of which examples are here given, fig. 41. It 
would thus appear that the foundry, which it is presumed was 
worked by William, and, perhaps, by Francis Watts, in 



Other Founders of BedfordsJiire Bells. 63 

Bedfordshire, was carried on by Hugh, their successor, until 
the close of the year 16 10, he using the bell-gear and the 
letter-stamps which were in the hands of his deceased relatives. 




41 
It would further ajDpear that, having finished his casting of the 
group of alphabet bells in 16 10, he closed his furnaces in this 
county, for no more bells are found of his casting until twenty- 
three years afterwards, that is, until the year 1633, when he 
again appears in the bell-chambers of Bedfordshire, sending 
between that year and 1639 fourteen bells, namely : — the ring 
of five at Great Barford, the ist at Felmersham, the ist and 
2nd at Kempston, the 3rd at Shelton, the 5th at Wilden, the 
5th at Odell, the 3rd at Oakley, and the ist and 2nd at 
Riseley. Of these, five have his favourite inscription : — 

IH'a : NAZARENVS : REX JVDEORUM : FILI DEI : 
MISERERE MEI 

which he used so often — there are ninety in Leicestershire — 
as to cause his bells to be known as " Watts' Nazarcnes." 
The letters IH'8 engraved above are the first three letters of 



64 



OtJicr Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



that, his well-known inscription, the letter S being always 
reversed, as shown. He and his predecessors generally 
extended the inscription round the bell, filling up the spaces 
between the words with the ornamental acorn band, fig. 42 : — 




He also very rarely — as on bells at S. Margaret's Church, 
Leicester — used another form of Gothic letter, a specimen 
word of which may be given (fig. 43), although it does not 




Other Fonnders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



65 



appear on any bell in Bedfordshire, and with it he used the 
elegant border ornament, fig, 44 : — 




Hugh Watts died in 1643, when portions of his bell-gear fell 
into the hands of the Nottingham founders, but his stamp, fig. 
39, and band ornaments never appear after his death. The 
Leicester foundry was then closed, to be re-opened at the 
commencement of the eighteenth century by Thomas Clay, 
who, however, sent no bells to this county. Upon the closing 
of his business, there was another interval until Edward 
Arnold, the nephew of Joseph Eayre, the bellfounder of S. 
Neots, cast his first ring of bells in Leicester in the year 1784, 
for Rothley church, Leicestershire, as he tells us upon one of 
the bells there. He sent no bell to this county from Leicester, 
but upon the ist and 2nd at Cardington he describes himself 
as of S. Neots and Leicester, although he had not at that time 
commenced business at the latter place. These and other in- 
scriptions show that during part of the time he carried on 



66 Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

the Leicester foundry, Edward Arnold continued his business 
at S. Neots, into which he received, as an apprentice, Robert 
Taylor, who towards the close of the eighteenth century- 
succeeded to the foundry there, which at that time was carried 
on in a lofty brick building situate in the Priory, and built in 
the form of a bell. Robert Taylor sent the whole ring of five 
bells to Bletsoe in 1786, and between that year and 18 16 he 
sent many other bells to churches in the county, upon all of 
which he placed his name. Upon the 3rd bell at Risely 
(dated 1816) he, doubtless for some exceptional reason, joined 
J. Briant's name with his own as founder. About that time 
the firm became R. Taylor & Sons. They sent bells to 
Husborne Crawley and Wresdingworth in 1820. In the year 
1 82 1 the Messrs. Taylor removed to Oxford, from whence 
they sent the 2nd bell at Bromham in 1826. In 1825 Mr. 
John Taylor^ one of the Oxford firm, went to Buckland 
Brewer, near Bideford, Devon, to cast the bells there, and 
after casting several rings and odd bells in Devon, Cornwall, 
etc., returned to Oxford in 1S35. In 1839 he and his son 
went to Loughborough, in Leicestershire, to cast the bells there, 
and finding the town well-situated for business, they took up 
their residence in that place. From thence they, in the same 
year, sent the 5th bell to Turvey, describing themselves as 
W. Csf J. Taylor, Oxford and Lo7Lghhoroiigh. Although 
William Taylor (the brother of John) continued to work the 
Oxford foundry until his death, which occurred in 1S54, his 
name does not again appear upon bells cast at Loughborough. 
The foundry^ there was carried on by JoJm Taylor, who 
describes himself upon the ist bell at Puddington, dated 1843, 



Other Fotcnders of Bedfordshire Bells. 67 

as of " Oxford and Loughborough," and upon the Wymington 
I St, cast in that same year, as " late of S. Neots." Since that 
time Mr. John Taylor has died, leaving his son, the present 
Mr. John Williaiu Taylor, the head of the now justly cele- 
brated Leicestershire foundry. Messrs. John Taylor cir" Co. 
have supplied several bells to Bedfordshire churches, but as their 
names appear upon them a list in detail is rendered unnecessary.* 

Returning to the older bells in Bedfordshire, we find ten 
cast by John Dier, about whom litde is at present 
known. His bells in this county date from 1580, at 
Houghton Regis (5th), to 1593, the date on bells at Houghton 
and at Maulden. His earliest bell bears his name " John dier," 
in thick black letter ; on the more elaborate bells at Hulcote, 
with the donor's arms, he appears in the same type of letters 
as "Johannes Dier," the last two letters being linked together 
on one stem ; but on the Willington 4th he discarded the old 
black letter, and appeared in sharply defined Roman capitals 
as " John Dyey," with the whole inscription placed backwards. 
He used the Pentacle as a trade-mark, and upon the Hulcote 
bells he placed a number of small fanciful stamps. 

The name oi John Clarke is, as founder, upon the 2nd bell 
at Flitwick, dated 1608. He, too, used the Pentacle in place 
of the ancient initial cross. His bells are rare. There is a 
similarity between his lettering and that of John Dier, but at 
present three is no proof of any connection between them. 

About this time, too, we find Richard Iloldfcld, or Oldficld, 
sending two bells into this county — the ist at Shelton, 

* For a full account of the ancient Leicester licllfoundcrs, with copies of their Wills, etc., 
sec North's CInitch Bells of LeuaUnhiie, pp. 37-74- 



68 



Other Founders of BedfordsJiire Bells. 




inscribed " Praies God," and the 3rd at Studham, inscribed 
" Pries the Lord ;" they are both dated 1599. They bear no 
founder's name, but the letters of the inscriptions on both — 
small Roman capitals — and the initial cross on the Studham 
bell, here engraved, fig. 45. are identical with those on the 3rd 
bell at Everton, Huntingdonshire, inscribed in 
part " Ricardvs Holdfeld me fecit 161 1." 
Dr. Raven suggests (for reasons given in his 
Church Bells of Canibindgeshire '"') that Richard 
Holdfeld was a Cambridge founder. There is 
also every reason for assuming that he was a 
member of the family of Oldfield, of Nottingham, founders 
there for several generations. On the 3rd bell at East 
Bergholt, Suffolk, and upon some bells in Essex, cast by Richard 
Bowler early in the seventeenth century, there is a circular 
stamp bearing the initials R.H., divided by an arrow, which 
points to some connection between Richard Holdfeld and the 
founder of those bells. 

Richard Hattlsey cdi-st the 2nd bell at Dunton, and the 1st 
at Edworth ; they are both dated 1623. The inscriptions are 
l^in Roman capitals of the same character 
as those used by Richard Holdfeld, and 
preceded by an initial cross of the same 
form (fig. 46), but both letters and cross 
are larger in size. It is probable that 
Haulsey succeeded to the foundry of 
Richard Holdfeld. 




* 2nd Ed., p. 131. 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



69 



Robert Oldfield, too, was casting bells at that time. He 
cast the 3rd bell at Stanstead Abbots, Hertfordshire, and 
placed his name upon it, in 1605. To him may be assigned 
the 4th bell at Eaton Socon, with a pre-Reformation In- 
scription In Gothic capitals, preceded by the cross, fig. 47, 




47 




48 




49 



with fig. 49, for an intervening stop. 
In 163S he supplied the present treble 
bell to Shillington, which has fig. 47 for 
an Initial stamp, and under It the founder's 
stamp fig. 48, all here engraved. The 
fortunate preservation of the Shillington 
Churchwardens' Accounts for the year 
in which this bell was cast enables us 
to assign these stamps with certainty to 



yo Other Founders of BcdfordsJiire Bells. 

Robert Oldfield, and to state that he was then working his 
foundry at Hertford. The Churchwardens charge : — 

1638 Ite' spent at Hartf when we went w"' the Bell o 8 8 

Ite' to John Crouch for drawing our bell to Hartford 013 o 
Ite' to Robert Oldfeild for casting our bell at 

elcaven shillinge the hundred 4 10 6 

The only other bell from Robert Oldfield's Hertford foundry 
now in this county is the Priests' bell at Luton, which has no 
inscription, but only the date 1637 immediately over the 
shield-shaped stamp fig. 48 on page 69. Robert Oldfield was 
doubtless connected with the Nottingham founders of the 
same name. The initial cross he used, fig. 47, is similar in 
form to those constantly used by them. 

At a later date a foundry was worked at Hertford by John 
Briant, who sent several bells to the churches of this county, 
dated from 1790 at Eaton Bray (5th) to 18 16 at Meppershall 
(3rd). He died at S. Albans in the year 1829, being then in 
his 8ist year, and was buried in All Saints' Churchyard, 
Hertford.* 

There are a large number of bells — nearly fifty — supplied to 
Bedfordshire churches from the foundry formerly existing at 
Drayton Parslow, in Buckinghamshire. " Anthonie Chandler 
Blacksmith," who was buried at that place on " Aprill the 20, 
1 64 1," had by his wife, who was buried there in 1643, two 
sons, Richard, baptized there on the 6th of March, 1 601-2, 
and Anthony, who died an infant in 1605. Richard Chandler 



* For a fuller account of him, see North's Church Bells of Northamptonshire, pp. 102-4. 



Other Fotincicrs of Bedfordshire Bells. 



married Bridget Conoper in 1622, and was the first bellfounder 
at Drayton, sending tlie present 2nd bell to Milton Bryant in 
1636. He placed his name on that bell as "Richard Chandeler," 
with the date both before and after it, and the two stamps here 
engraved as figs. 50 and 51. He was buried at Drayton on 

the 13th of June, 1638. He had by his 
wife Bridget one son, Anthony, and five 
daughters, two of whom, says the Regis- 
ter, " Bridgetta Chanler et Maria Chan- 
ler filice posthumae Richardi et Bridgettoe 
bapt : fuerant secundi die Aug^ 1638." 
AntJiony Chandler (the only son of this 
Richard), who was baptized on the 20th 
of August, 1622, carried on the foundry 
on the death of his father (probably 
during his youth with the assistance of a 
foreman) sending a few bells to churches 
in his own and neifjhbourincf counties. 
He sometimes placed his name in full, as 
at Egginton (2nd), Houghton Regis 
(6th), and Westoning (ist), and some- 
times only " Chandler made me :" and very rarely — as on the 5th 
bell at Harrold — the fleur-de-lys, fig. 5 1, given above. He was 
buried either on the 23rd of January, 1680- 1, or on the loth 
of January, 16S4-5 (for there were two men of the name living 
nt the same time at Drayton), leaving a numerous family — 
four sons — Richard, baptized 15th December, 1650; George, 
baptized 3rd March, 1654; Thomas, baptized 30th November, 
1656, and John, baptized loth July, 1664 — and four daughters. 




=: I 



I - 



Other Founders of DcdfordsJiire Bells. 



Ann, Jane, Bridg-et, and Leah. The two elder sons, Richard 
and George, appear to have succeeded to the business of the 
foundry, most probably as partners, though their joint names 
have not yet been found on any single bell. The name of 
George Chandler appears as founder upon the 3rd bell at 
Eaton Bray, dated 1705, and upon the 5th at Stanbridge, 
dated 1725, soon after which he died; but the Parish Registers 
do not give the entry of his burial. Richard Chandler died 
on one of the last days of the year 1 704, being buried (the 
Register describes him as " Bellfounder ") on the ist of 
January, 1704-5. He sent several bells into Bedfordshire, 
some having his name, and some only his initials. Upon his 
death another Richard Chandler, most probably his son — 
though here the Registers do not help us — placed his name 
upon bells. He was the " Richard Chaundler, bellfounder," 
whose son Henry (according to the Register) was baptized on 
the 28th of April, 1702, and whose daughter Susan was 
buried on the 28th of February, 1703-4. The latest date we 
find upon Richard Chandler's bells in this county is 1723, upon 
the 4th bell at Hulcote. The date of his death is at present 
unknown. The Chandlers were succeeded at Drayton Parslow 
as bellfounders by Edward Hall, who sent only four bells to 
this county, Eaton Bray ist, dated 1740, Pottesgrove ist, 
dated 1743, and Whipsnade, ist and 2nd, dated 1740. He 
was not successful with his foundry, and the addition to it of the 
original business of the Chandlers — that of a blacksmith — 
does not appear to have added much to the security of his 
position, for the Parish Register records his burial thus : — 
9 February, 1755, Edward Y{:x\\, poor beHfounde?: 



Other Foiinders of DcdfordsJiirc Bells. 



73 



The site of the foundry at Drayton Parslow is now used as 
a garden and paddock behind the " Three Horse-Shoes" Inn: 
scraps of bell-metal, and other indications of the foundry work, 
have been found."" 

Another foundry in Buckinghamshire supplied the ist and 
the 3rd bells at Chellington. BartJiolomew Alton, " Tann' and 
Bellfounder, the apprentice of Thomas Newcome, Tann' and 
Bellfounder," then deceased, was admitted to the Merchants' 
Guild, or made free of the town of Leicester, in 1582-3. 
Shortly after that date he was casting bells at Buckingham, of 
which town he was bailiff in 1604.! He sent several bells into 
Northamptonshire, and showed his connection with the Leices- 
ter founders by using some of their stamps.^ Upon many of 
his bells are also placed the initials of Robert Alton, who was 
associated with him in the foundry. The dates of the deaths 
of these two founders are not at present known, but Bartholo- 
mew cast bells as late as 1636, and Robert as late as i634.§ 

Upon the 3rd bell at Chellington Wil- 
liam Alton appears as founder, with 
the name of this Robert Atton ap- 
/# pended. In 1654, when the treble bell 
there was cast, William Atton had a son 
associated with him, the founders' names 
being given as " \\\ Atton and Son :" 
soon after that date he dic-d, for the 




* For numerous extracts (about sixty in 
number) from the Parish Registers of Dray- 
ton Parslow relating to the Chandler family 
I am much indebted to the courtesy of the 
present Rector, the Rev. A. Cyril Pearson. 



t Lipscomb's Hist, of Rucks -^ vol. ii., p. 567. 

:J: See North's Church Bells of Northants, 

p. 114. 
§ IbiJ. pi>. 114, 115. 



74 Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

Buckingham Register says " Mr. William Atton four times 
Bailiff [buried] Oct. 23, 1655."* The Attons used as an initial 
cross fig. 52 engraved on p. ']-^\ it appears upon the 3rd of 
the Chellington bells. 

There are a score of bells in Bedfordshire churches which 
were, as their inscriptions testify, cast by Miles Graye. They 
range in date from 161 5 at Stotfold (3rd) to 1667 at Fandish 
(ist). Miles Graye was a founder of considerable reputation 
at Colchester. The inscription on the tenor bell at Kersey, 
Suffolk, says : — 

Samuel Samson, Churchwarden, I saye, 
Caused me to be made by Colchester Graye. 

Although no founder of his period, according to Dr. Raven, 
" was equal to * Colchester Graye,' " not much is at present 
known about him beyond what his bells themselves tell. He 
is said to have died in i666,f It is generally supposed that 
Christopher Graye, whose bells in this county have been 
already mentioned (see p. 41) was his son. 

During the time Miles Graye was casting bells at Colchester 
Ja7n£s Kecne was actively employed in the same way at Wood- 
stock in Oxfordshire. There are twenty-three of his bells in 
this county, dating from 1618 at Odell and Puddington to 1641 
at Milton Bryant and Wootton. 

GOD SAVE OVR KING 
was his favourite motto : it appears on fourteen of those bells. 
On the Chellington 2nd and on the Colmworth 4th he placed 
" Pray.e ye the Lord," omitting, apparently, the letter s in the 

* Willis' Hisi. of Bucks., p. 72. 
+ But the Fandish bell is dated in the following year (1667). 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



75 



first word : the 3rd at Stanbridge has the name of the church^ 

r^ warden, and on the 2nd at Fan- 
iVj^l dish, the ist at Milton Bryant, 
the I St, 2nd. and 3rd at Odell, 
and the ist at Salford, the ini- 
I tials I. K. are given with the 
^5 Pl^ date. These initials, which are 
also on many of his other bells 
\ — for James Keene did not give 
'' his name in full — are generally 
in the form given as fig. 53, 
using frequently as initial crosses the figs. 54, 55 and 56. The 





initial cross fig 54 is upon bells at Chalgrave(2nd), Clophill (2nd), 
Hawnes (ist), Odell (4th), Pavenham (5th), and Puddington 
(3rd and 4th). That figured No. 55 is on bells at Colmworth 
(3rd), Cople (5th). Flitwick (4th), Henlow (2nd), Milton 
Bryant (3rd), Salford (ist), and Studham (4th), and that figured 



76 



Other Foimders of Bedfordshire Bells. 




57 




58 




59 



No. 56 is found on bells at Chellington(2nd), 
Colmworth (4th), Milton Bryant (ist), 
Stanbridge (3rd), and at Wootton (5th). 
James Keene also rarely used as a stop 
fig. 57 here engraved : it is only found once 
in Bedfordshire — on the 3rd bell at Odell ; 
and much more frequently the fleur-de-lys, 
fig. 58, which is found on ten of his bells 
in this county. 

Amongst the other seventeenth century 
bells are five from the Stamford foundry. 
Tobias or Tobie Norris, Bellfounder, took 
up his freedom at Stamford on the 4th of 
June, 1607, consequently the ist and 2nd 
bells at Clapham, dated in that year, and 
upon which he placed the initial cross fig. 
59, and the stop fig. 60, were amongst his 
first efforts. He was also the founder of 
the 4th and 5th bells at Shillington, dated 
1624, upon the latter of which he also 
placed the initial cross fig. 59. It appears 
from the accounts of the churchwardens of 
Shillington that these two bells were cast at 
St. Ives, where Norris had probably set up 
a temporary foundry. He died on the 2nd 
of November, 1626, and was succeeded in 
the foundry by Thomas N'orris, who took 
up his freedom of Stamford, as a bell- 
founder, on the 31st of December, 1625. 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. jj 




He sent no bells now remaining in this 

county, but his son and successor, Tobias 

Norris (2nd), who was baptized at S. 

George's Church, Stamford, on the 25th 

of April, 1634, and was buried in the 

same parish on the 19th of January, 

«====— =-=^ 1698-9, sent the 2nd bell to Dean in 

^ i(:>']'], placing upon it his name preceded 

by the initial cross fig. 59.* 

Bryan Eldridgc, of Chertsey, sent only one bell to Bedford- 
shire — the 2nd at Yielden, dated 1660. 

During the greater part of the seventeenth, and the earlier 
years of the eighteenth centuries, foundries were worked at 
Chacombe and at Ecton, Northamptonshire, by the family of 
Bagley. Henry Bagley, the first bell-founder at Chacombe 
(baptized 2nd Oct. 1608, died about 1676), sent no bells to 
Bedfordshire : upon his death the business appears to have 
been carried on by his two sons, Henry (not mentioned in the 
Parish Register) and Williatn (born 29 June, 1663), in con- 
junction with his nephew Matthezu (baptized 6 April, 1653). 
Although their names do not appear jointly in any known 
instance upon the same bell, Henry and Matthew frequently 
each placed his name upon separate bells in the same ring, 
and cast at the same time. Their bells are not numerous in 
this county, being the 5th at Stagsden, the ist at Tilbrook, 
and the 2nd and 3rd at Turvey. Tilbrook is on the borders 
of Northamptonshire, but the Bagleys probably owed their 

* For a full account of llic Stamford Foundry, see North's Church Bells of Norlhanls, pp. 
95-102, and his Church Bells of Lincolnshire, pp. 51-58. 



78 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 




introduction to the other places 
to the Rev. Thomas Monta- 
gue, Rector of Burton, North- 
amptonshire, the donor of a 
bell to Sharnbrook in 1683. 
The Bagleys occasionally used 
the stamp fig. 61, and the 
intervening stop fig. 62, which 
is on the 5th bell at Stagsden. 
On the 2nd bell at Willing- 
ton is, in bold thin-faced 
61 Roman capitals, Thomas Tom- 

pion Fecit 1671. Of him nothing is at present 
known. 

Thomas Janazvay, of Chelsea, sent the 4th 
bell to Potton in 1785. Mr. Tyssen tells us 
that he probably learned his art in the White- 
chapel (London) foundry, that the Chelsea 
foundry only lasted from 1763 to 1786, and that at its close all 
its stamps and tools were bought and transferred to White- 
chapel, and there used for many years.'" 

Thomas Nezuman, whose name appears as founder upon the 
5th bell at Eaton Socon, cast in 1705, and upon the ist at 
Potton, cast in the following year, was of Norwich, but he 
itinerated, and it is quite probable that those bells were sent 
by him from Cambridge, where it is known he was casting 
bells a few years latent 




* Sussex Coll., xvi., p. 179. 
J See Dr. Raven's Church Bells of Cambridgeshire, 2nd Ed., p. 98. 



Other Fo7inders of Bedfordshire Bells. 79 

In 171 7, Thomas and John ^^_)'r^, the first bellfounders at 
Kettering, Northamptonshire, supplied the treble bell at 
Yielden ; upon the death or retirement of John Eayre in, or 
about, the following year, the foundry there passed into the 
sole management of Thomas Eayre, who did a large business. 
He, however, only sent three bells into Bedfordshire : — the 
ist and 5th at Ampthill in 1725, and the ist at Oakley in 
1750. He was buried at Kettering on the 3rd of January, 
1758, after which the foundry there was carried on for a few 
years by his son and sole executor, Thomas Eayre (2nd), who 
being unfortunate in business, brought it to a close in 1761." 

Joseph Eay7'e (the brother of the first-named Thomas Eayre, 
of Kettering), who was baptized as "an adult person" at 
Kettering, in the year 1731, and whose marriage in the 
Kettering Register is thus noted :— 

Mr. Joseph Eayre of S. Neots and Mrs. Sarah Soame of Kettering, 

opened a foundry at S. Neots about the year 1735, in which 
year he sent a ring of bells to Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. 
He sent six bells into this county, dating from 1740, at Eaton 
Socon (ist), to 1772 at Langford (3rd). After his death the 
business at S. Neots was held jointly for a short time by his 
late foreman, Tliomas Osborn, and his cousin, Edivard Arnold. 
After they dissolved partnership, Edzuard Arnold held the 
foundry at S. Neots, sending bells from thence to KeyscE (5th) 
in 1772, and to Langford (2nd) in 17S0. In 1784 he opened 
his foundry at Leicester (see p. 65), still, however, keeping on 
the S. Neots foundry for a time. 

* See North's Church Bells of Northants, pp. 48-51, for a full account of their foundry. 



8o Other Fotmders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

Thomas Osborn, after dissolving partnership with Edward 
Arnold, set up for himself at Downham Market, where he 
subsequently took William Dobson, his grandson, into partner- 
ship. Upon the death of his grandfather, this William Dobson 
carried on the foundry, sending the 3rd bell at Eaton Socon 
in 1832. Although he had a large connection, he was not 
prosperous in business. In 1833 his foundry passed into the 
hands of Mr. Thomas Mears, of London. 

The modern Birmingham founders are represented by 
two bells. Mr. James Barzvell supplied the ist at Stevington 
in 1872, and Messrs. Wm. Blews & Sons the ist at Wyming- 
ton in the following year. 

In writing of the bells in this county cast by the Newcombe's 
of Leicester and Bedford (see pp. 57-8), the 4th bell at Elstow, 
traditionally known as Bunyan's bell, escaped notice as 
being probably from their foundry. It bears for an initial 
cross, fig. 63, which cross is not only found 
on bells in Leicestershire and Northampton- 
shire, but on the 2nd bell at Upton Magna, 
Salop, dated 1605, where it appears in 
company with a border ornament used by 
the Newcombes, and preceding a form of 
inscription, '' Come Come and Pray," found 
63 on the bells of the Leicester founders. 

The only other founders who sent bells into this county are 
those of London from the seventeenth century to the present 
time. As their bells are nearly one hundred and twenty in 
number, and as the name of the founder of each appears upon 
it, and so will be pointed out in the proper place under the 




Other Fotmders of Bedfordshire Bells. 



Si 



parish in which it hangs, It is unnecessary to give a detailed 
Hst of them here. 

John Hodson — the first London founder of the modern era 
whose bells are in Bedfordshire — and Christopher Ilodson 
were the principal founders of their time, a time not 
encouraging to men of their craft. In 1653 John Hodson 
supplied the 4th bell at Harrold ; in the following year he sent 
four bells to Stevington ; and in 1663 he cast the 3rd at 
Pavenham and the 1st at Cranfield. On the last-mentioned 

bell he placed, as intervening 
stops, a fleur-de-lys and fig. 64, 
here engraved, with the royal 
arms after the inscription. He 
used large plain Roman capitals 
for his inscriptions, with fleur-de- 
lys, the fig. 64, coins of Charles 
I. and the Commonwealth, stars 
of dots, and lozenges plentifully, 
as Intervening stops. The 
Initials \V. H. observed on his 
bells at Cranford, Pavenham, and on two at Stevington, arc 
those of William Hull, who was his foreman, and to whom he 
apparently taught his trade. William Hull not only placed 
his initials upon many of John Hodson's bells, but sometimes 
his name appears in full in conjunction with that of his master, 
and on the ist at Pertenhall we have " William Hvll made 
me 1666" standing alone, although it was clearly his master's 
bell. After leaving John Hodson he was employed by 

M 




UTT/IMC 



64 



82 Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 

Michael Darble, until he set up for himself at South Mailing, 
Sussex, where he died in the year i687.'''' 

The Whitechapel (London) bellfoundry is of ancient date ; 
there was a foundry there as early as, if not earlier than, the 
year 1520. Later on we find that Robert Mot, who was 
buried on the ist of April, 1608, worked the foundry there 
until his death. Joseph Carter succeeded him, who, dying 
early in the year 16 10, left the management of the London 
foundry to the care of his son William Carter, who only lived 
a few years after his father's death. To him succeeded (in 
1 6 1 9) Thomas Bartlett, who had been a servant in the foundry, 
and in the family of the Bartletts the Whitechapel foundry 
remained until the end of the seventeenth century. The only 
bell sent into this county by the Bartletts is the clock-bell at 
Battlesden House, dated 1674. That bell has the name of 
Anthony Bartlett as founder, and also the circular stamp, 
bearing three bells encircled with the words " Thomas 
Bartlett," which had been used by the first founder of that 
name. Anthony Bartlett, who died in 1676, was succeeded by 
his son, fames Bartlett, who died in 1701. Richard Phelp, 
who cast several noted bells, was the next founder at White- 
chapel ; he died in 1738, when he was succeeded, as founder, 
by his foreman, Thomas Lester, whose name appears on six 
bells at S. Paul's, Bedford, cast in 1744. He soon took 
Thomas Pack into partnership, and the names Lester & Pack 
are upon the single bell at Lower Gravenhurst, dated 1758. 
Upon the death of Lester in 1769, his nephew, William 

* For a full account of Wm. Hull, see Mr. Tyssen's Church Bells of Sussex, pp. 26-29. 



Other Founders of Bedfordshire Bells. 8 



J 



Chapman, became Pack's partner, and the new firm, Pack 
& CJiapnian, sent bells to Cardington, Dunstable, and Luton 
from 1772 to 1776. The firm next appears in this county as 
Chapman & ^Teal's — Pack died in 1781, and William Mears, 
who had learned his business under Chapman, and had been 
casting bells on his own account, was then taken into 
partnership by him — upon bells at Caddington cast in 1782. 
William Chapman died in 1784, when William Mears was 
alone for a short time only, for in 1787 we find IV. &' T. 
Mears describing themselves on bells at Leighton Buzzard as 
'' late Lester, Pack, & Chapman." The foundry remained in 
the Mears family — many of their bells will be found hereafter 
described under the different parishes — until about the year 
1865, soon after which it passed into the hands of the present 
proprietor, Mr. Robert Stainbank, who, however, retains the 
name of Mears in the firm (Mr. George Mears, his former 
partner, after being out of business some years, died at 
Landport, Portsmouth, on the 12th of August, 1873, aged 53 
years), and he, under the style of Mears & Stainbank, has 
sent many bells to the churches of this county.* 

The name of Islip Ednmnds, London, appears upon the i st 
bell at Melchbourne as the founder in i 764, and upon the 3rd 
at Milton Ernest in 1765. Of him little is known. Messrs. 



* Mr. Tyssen in his Church Bells of merchant, lie died at his residence, Spring 

Sussex, gives much information about the Lodge, Lawrie Park, Sydenham, on the 

Whitechapel foundry. Since writing the morning of Wednesday, the 24tli of January, 

above, Mr. Stainbank (who was bom at Not- iSSj, and was buried on the following 

tingham about the year 1815) has died. Monday, at Boston, Lincolnshire, where his 

Before entering into partnership with the father, mother, and other members of his 

late Mr. Mears, he was in business as a timber family are interred. 



84 



Other Fowiders of Bedfordshire Bells, 



John Warner & Sons, of the well-known Crescent Foundry, 
Cripplcgatc, London, have sent bells to Bedfordshire, including 
a full ring of six to Arlescy in 1877.* 



* For a fuller account of this foundry, see North's Chtirch Bells of Northamptonshire, 

pp. 119, 120. 




From an Illummated MS. of the Psalms (fourteenth century) in the King's Library, 
British Musemn : marked 20. B. xi. 



PECULIAR USES 

OF THE 

BEDFORDSHIRE BELLS 



-'XX* 



THERE are very few directions in the Rubrics and 
Canons of the Church of England as to the use of the 
Church Bell. 

The single one in the Rubrics is that in which the Curate 
is ordered to " cause a bell to be tolled " to daily service " a 
convenient time before he begin, that the people may come to 
hear God's word and to pray with him." The directions in 
the Canons are also very brief: the 15th, which directs 
" Litany to be read on Wednesdays and Fridays," orders that 
warning be " given to the people by tolling of a bell," and the 
67th orders : — 

And, when any is passing out of this life, a bell shall be tolled, and the 
Minister shall not then slack to do his last duty. And after the party's 
death, if it so fall out, there shall be rung no more than one short peal, 
and one other before the burial, and one other after the burial. 

No further directions are given as to the use of church 
bells, and the only other references to them are in the 
88th Canon against the superstitious use of bells upon 
" Holy days or Eves abrogated by the Book of Common 



86 Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells, 

Prayer, nor at any other times without good cause, to be 
allowed by the minister of the place " and by the church- 
wardens, and in the iiith against hindering the minister or 
preacher " by untimely ringing of bells." 

It was, no doubt, the superstitious use, and the "untimely" 
ringing of the bells in mediaeval times, which caused the 
Church at the Reformation, not only to put a check upon their 
excessive ringing, but to order only the most simple and 
necessary use of them. It will be observed that one bell is all 
that is really essential in carrying out the directions of the 
Church, so that the poorest parish can have no difficulty in 
obeying. But it by no means follows that what is sometimes, 
but not always correctly, spoken of as " Apostolical simplicity " 
is intended, either in this or in other matters connected 
with the services of the Church, to be inculcated when better 
things can be obtained ; indeed, we know that it is generally 
only poverty, or some other difficulty, which hinders the 
erection in our modern churches of a number of bells with 
which to ring those peals in which almost all English 
Churchmen delight. And so it was in more ancient times : the 
larger parish churches sometimes had five bells, many four, 
more perhaps only three, but it was a very rare thing indeed 
to find any church with less than two and a sanctus bell. 

In pre-Reformation times, as I have shown elsewhere, the 
bells were heard much more frequently than now. Where the 
Canonical Hours were kept they would be ringing very 
frequently and very regularly, by day and by night, so that they 
answered very much the purpose of a clock, and the different 
ways in which they were rung told the service then about being 



PectUiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 87 

said. The bells were then frequently rung by the deacons. 
Such, we know, was the case in the fifteenth century at Holy 
Trinity, Coventry, and in the following century at Ludlow and 
at Exeter. Sculpture on the font at Belton, Lincolnshire, 
shows the cavipanarius attired in his camise, chiming two 
bells. In our smaller parish churches, too, those bells be- 
longing to minor altars, to Guilds and Fraternities, or used for 
special Offices, would very frequently be sounding. Thus, at 
Ludlow — in addition to a ring of five bells — they possessed 
"Our Lady belle," " First-Mass-Bell," and ''the gild belle."* 
On Sundays and on high-days all the bells appear to have 
been rung for Matins and Evensong — the two Services which 
all were expected to attend, and so the custom has continued to 
the present time. Hooper, in his Injunctions, dated 1551, 
whilst forbidding ringing at unseasonable times, adds " but 
before services, as well morning as at even, to warn people by 
as many peals or ringings as they think good." 

The mode of ringing or of chiming for Divine Service 
varies somewhat in different parishes in Bedfordshire, as in 
the other counties of England. 

At Ampthill, Harrold and Pavcnham, all the bells arc 
chimed, followed by a five minutes' sounding of the treble as 
the parson's bell. 

At Cardington, Carlton, Chellington, Goldington, and 
Houghton-Conquest, all the bells are chimed, followed by 
a five minutes' tolling of the tenor. 

At Apsley Guise and at Eversholt the tenor is rung for a 
few minutes, followed by a chiming of all the bells. 

■•'■' See Ludloiij Churchwardens^ Accounts, published by Camden Society. 



88 Pectiliav Uses oj the Bedfordshire Bells. 

At Barton-le-Clay the treble is rung for fifteen minutes, 
then all the bells are chimed, followed by the tolling of the 
treble for five minutes. 

At Dunstable they chime all the bells for twenty minutes, 
followed by the sanctus-bell for ten minutes as a sermon-bell. 

At S. Peter's, Bedford, the first four bells are chimed, 
followed by the tenor bell alone. The same custom is followed 
at Blunham and at Cranfield. At Melchbourne and at Hawnes 
the first three are chimed, followed in the same way by the 
4th or tenor. 

At S. Mary's, Bedford, the bells are chimed for fifteen 
minutes, after which the tenor is tolled for ten minutes, followed 
by the priest's bell for five minutes. 

At Houghton-Regis the tenor is first rung up as a sermon- 
bell, and is " dropped in " with the other bells when chiming 
commences, and so is gradually " lowered," after which it is 
tolled till the commencement of service. A similar mode is 
followed at Marston Moretaine (where, however, about twenty 
strokes on the treble concludes), and also at Stanbridge ; 
indeed, that is the favourite style of using the bells on Sunday 
in that part of the county. At Husborne-Crawley, too, the 
tenor is first raised, then " dropped in," whilst the other bells 
are chimed for twenty minutes, after which the tenor is lowered 
alone, followed by a chiming of all the bells until a few minutes 
before the commencement of Divine Service, when the priest's 
bell concludes the warning. 

At Meppershall all the bells are first chimed with the tenor 
rung in ; the tenor is then lowered and chimed with the other 
bells. 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 89 

At Clifton ten of the bells arc chimed by machinery until 
five minutes before the commencement of Service, when ilic 
6th, /th and 8th bells are chimed. 

The chiming of the bells at Leighton Buzzard is dixidcd 
into two peals, between which the tenor is raised and rung as 
a sermon bell. 

At Northill the chiming commences an hour before I)i\in(? 
Service ; after a pause it is resumed half-an-hour before the 
time, and is followed by five minutes' tolling of a single bell. 

At Hockliffe any one bell is rung as a sermon-bell, followed 
by the chiming of the whole three ; and at Pertenhall the 
sermon-bell is first rung, then the three bells are chimed, 
followed by the tolling — for a few minutes — of the tenor. At 
Old Warden (where there are four bells) they first chime all 
for twenty minutes, then toll one bell for five minutes, and 
conclude by the ringing of the third bell for five minutes. 

The bells at Arlesey are usually rung, not chimttd, for 
Services on Sunday. 

At Woburn new church the single bell (the largest in ihc 
county) is rung up half-an-hour before the hour for Divine 
Service by three men ; then a pause for ten minutes, after 
which there is ringing again for ten minutes, and the bell is 
lowered ; the ringers receive three shillings per Sunday, paid 
by the Duke of Bedford. 

On the Great Festivals the call to Divine; Service is rung 
instead of chimed at Coplc and at Tottenhoe. 

These examples show the diversity of usage at present in 
different parishes, but, no doubt, anci("nt customs have, in many 
cases, departed. 

N 



90 Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

Early Sunday Peals. — With the introduction of the " new 
service " (as the Book of Common Prayer was called) in the 
time of Edward VI., the singing of the Canonical Hours — 
with the exception of Matins and Evensong — was dropped. 
The only traces of them we now have in the use of our church 
bells, excepting the ringing or chiming for Morning and 
Evening Prayer, are the ringing of the " first and second 
peals " on Sunday mornings at seven and eight, or at eight and 
nine o'clock, in many parishes. In pre-Reformation times 
matins was said in all parish churches before breakfast as a 
preparation for mass. The "first peal "was the call to matins, 
the "second peal " to tierce and mass. It is a curious proof 
how tenacious custom is in having continued the ringing of 
these bells for over three hundred years after the purposes 
they served were abrogated, and when few even think of, or 
inquire as to, the meaning of their sound. 

For these " peals " — which are rung in many Bedfordshire 
parishes — the smaller bells are generally used. The mode of 
rinorinor varies : — 

At Houghton Conquest the treble bell is rung at 7 a.m., the 
ist and 2nd at 9 a.m. 

At Marston Moretaine the ist is rung at 8 o'clock, and is 
called " 8 o'clock bell," or "first peal," and the ist and 2nd at 
9 a.m. 

At Pertenhall they ring the ist at 7 a.m., and the ist and 
2nd at 8 a.m. 

At Stanbridge the ist is rung at ^.^o a.m., and again at 
9.30 (the latter now for Sunday-school). 

The two early-peals have, in many parishes, merged into 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 91 

one ; thus one bell (generally the treble) is rung at 8 o'clock 
at Ampthill, Bedford (S. Cuthbert), Biddenham, Dunstable 
(2nd bell), Flitwick, Harlington (for "sermon bell," commonly 
called " 8 o'clock bell"), Kempstone (where they formerly rang 
ist at 7 a.m., and ist and 2nd at 8 a.m.), Lidlington, Mill- 
brooke, Northill, Potten, Shelton, Stotfold, Tilbrook, Wilden, 
and Wilhampstead. Two bells are rung at the same hour — 

8 a.m. — at Bedford (S. Peter's), Blunham (ist and 2nd), Card- 
ington (3rd and 4th, called " sermon bells "), Eversholt (ist and 
2nd, called "8 o'clock bells "), Leighton Buzzard (3rd and 4th. 
called " the 8 o'clock peal "), Odell, and at Sandy (ist and 2nd). 
At Cranfield they chime the ist, 2nd and 3rd bells at 8 a.m. 
In some parishes a large bell is rung at 8 a.m. ; thus at Cad- 
dington they ring the 5th, and call it the sermon-bell ; at 
Southill the 3rd is rung, and at Toddington the 6th bell is 
rung alternately at 8 and at 8.30 a.m. At Houghton Regis 
the treble is rung at 7 a.m., and is still called the " first peal ;" 
the treble is rung at the same hour at Milton Bryant and at 
Turvey, and at Tingrith the 2nd is then rung, and is called 
the sermon-bell. At Fandish and at Hawnes a bell is rung at 

9 a.m. 

]\Tany years ago it was the custom at Aspley Guise to ring 
a bell at 8 a.m. and again at 9 a.m., called respectively "the 
first and second peals ;" so, too, until recently, one bell was 
rung at 7 a.m. and two at 8 a.m. at S. Paul's, Bedford. The 
ringing of a bell at Tilsworth at 7 a.m., and of one at Willing- 
ton at 8 a.m., are remembered. They have both been dis- 
continued for some years. 

The Sermon Bell was heard in Pre-Relormation limes, as 



92 Pectdiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

is evident from the Riles of Durham, and the Royal Injunc- 
tions of 1547 ordered a bell in convenient time to be runj^ 
or knolled before the sermon. The ringint^^ of this bell, which 
is usually the tenor, though not universal, is heard in many 
parishes in this county, and that frequently after the chiming. 
The tenor bell is so used at Bedford (S. Peter's and S. Mary's), 
Carlton, Chellington, Egginton, and Milton Ernest ; it is rung 
before chiming at Houghton Regis, Husborne Crawley, 
Marston Moretaine, Pertenhall, Stanbridge and at Hockliffe, 
where any bell, not necessarily the tenor, is rung. 

At Leighton Buzzard the tenor is rung as a sermon bell 
between two peals of chiming. At Dunstable the ringing of 
the sanctus bell for ten minutes after the chiming of all the 
bells is called the sermon bell. At Harlington the ringing of 
the treble at 8 a.m., at Caddington the ringing of the 5th bell, 
and at Cardington the ringing of the 3rd and 4th at the same 
hour, are called sermon bells. At Tingrith the 2nd bell, rung 
at 7 a.m., is called the sermon bell ; and many years ago it 
was customary after this bell was raised to strike the day 
of the month. At Tilsworth the ringing of the sermon bell 
was discontinued about the year 1870, and at Stevington it 
was rung until recently at 8 a.m.; it was discontinued in con- 
sequence of the clerk being a shepherd, and his services being 
supposed necessary in the fields at that hour. 

Sunday Mid-dav Peals. — It is customary in some parishes 
to ring at the close of the Morning Service in a similar manner 
to that described under Early Peals. Thus the ist and 2nd 
bells are so rung at Pertenhall ; at S. Peter's, Bedford, the 
treble is rung for five minutes, followed by the ringing of the 



PcctUiar Uses of the BcdfordsJiirc Bells. 93 

3rd and 4th bells for five minutes, called " the dinner-ljell ;"' at 
Blunham and at Cardington a bell (at the latter place the 3rd) 
is then rung for a few minutes. 

As the early peals are freciuently considered signals for the 
Morning Service, so these mid-day ringings are sometimes now- 
used as warnings that Evensong will be said ; such is the case 
at Wilden, where a bell is runof at 12 o'clock when MorninLf 
Prayer has not been said, which, however, very rarely happens. 

The bell so rung at the close of Morning Service is, in some 
places, called 

The Puddixc, or Dixxkr Bell, being supposed to be rung 
in order to give the cook warning that Service is over, and so 
dinner may be prepared. Such is the case at Leighton Buz- 
zard, where the 3rd bell is rung at i o'clock, and (as we have 
seen) at S. Peter's. Bedford. At Tingrith a bell is rung 
immediately after Morning Service, and is popularly known as 

The Potato Bell, " because on hearing this bell the people 
at home put their potatoes in the }JOt for boiling." At Wilhamp- 
stead the ringing of this bell has been recently discontinued. 

This custom is probably the survival of the 

Knollinc; oe tiii; Aves, mentioned in the Injunctions of 
1538 as being sounded after the Service, and at certain oiher 
times, and as having been brought in and begun by the pre- 
tence of the Bishop of Rome's pard(jn, and il was ordered 
that they be thenceforth left and omitted. Shaxton, Bisho[) 
of Sarum in that year, said " that the bell called the Partlon, 
or Ave Bell, which of longe tyme hathe been used to be tolled 
three tymes after and before Divine Service, be not hereafter, 
in cUiy part of my diocese, any more tollyd." 



94 Peculiar Uses of tJie Bedfordshire Bells. 

In some places the Aves' bell was tolled thrice every day. 
That was the case at Cropedy, Oxfordshire, as we know from 
a benefaction to the bells made by Master Roger Lupton, 
vicar of that parish, by indenture dated 26 August, 151 2. He 
gave certain money to the churchwardens upon condition that 
they should, amongst other things, "toll dayly the Avees bell 
at sex of the clok in the mornyng, at xij of the clok at noone, 
and at foure of the clok at afternoone.""" 

The saying of the Aves was between the tolling. Among 
the Articles of Enquiry in 1547 was one whether the knolling 
at the Aves be used. 

The ringing or tolling of a bell or bells before the chiming 
commences for Divine Service at Aspley Guise, Barton-le- 
Clay, and in other parishes, may be, and probably is — as well 
as the ringing at the close of the Service — a continuance of 
the custom of knolling the Aves. 

The Passing-Bell. — Besides the use of bells for calling to 
Divine Service, the Canons enjoin the tolling of the " Passing- 
bell." The custom of notifying, by this means, the passing of 
a soul out of this life. Is almost. If not quite, as ancient in this 
country as the use of bells by the Church. Bede records its 
use as early as the year 680. f Durand, writing about the 
close of the twelfth century, thus describes the object, as well 
as the mode, of ringing : — 

When any one is dying, bells must be tolled, that the people may put up 
their prayers, twice for a woman and thrice for a man : if for a clerg)-man, 
as many times as he had orders. 1; 

* Historical Notices of Cropedy, by Rev. D. f Bede, Book iv. c. xxiii. 

Koyce, p. 43. J Brand's Pop, Aittiq. ii. 129. 



Peculiar- Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 95 

The Passing-bell was, of course, then rung at all hours of 
the night, as well as by day. After the Reformation the custom 
of ringing the Passing-bell in the ancient way was continued. 
Bishop Hooper, in his Injunctions (1551) allowed it, the Royal 
Injunctions of 1559 enjoined it, and the Advertisements of 
1564 show it was then usual to ring or toll the Passing-bell 
whilst the person was believed to be dying, but not yet dead. 
In after-years the Bishops inquired in their Articles whether 
the Passing-bell was so tolled ; indeed, the custom was con- 
tinued until recent times. An aged friend recently told the 
writer that when his mother was in extremis she desircjd her 
maid to order the Passing-bell to be tolled, and other similar 
instances are on record.* Persons have even been known to 
recover their health after their Passing-bell had been tolled. + 
The ancient custom of so rincjim^ the Passinof-bell had eradu- 
ally fallen almost into disuse about a century ago. W'heatley 
speaks of it as being generally disused in 1755.I 

The bell now used for the Passing-bell (or more properly, 
the Death-knell, as it is not now rung until after death) is 
usually the tenor, but this is sometimes changed, as we shall 
see, in the case of children, for a smaller bell. At the close, 
or the commencement, or at both, of the Passing-bell, it has 
long been the custom to indicate the sex of the person 
departing, or departed, by certain strokes or tolls of the bell. 
These have generally been three for a male (in honour of the 
Holy Trinity), and two for a femak^ (in honour of our Saviour. 



* See North's C/iinr/t Bells of Liitcolushire, t Ibid., p. 173. 
p. 173. X Kat. III. of Hook if Com. Frayet , p. 427. 



96 Pendiar Uses of tJtc Bedfordshire Bells. 

born of a woman) on the tenor bell, as at Ampthill — where all 
the bells are previously sounded in succession for half-an-hour — 
S. Cuthbert's, l^edford, and Biggleswade. 

At Goldington these tolls are given both before and after 
the knell. 

At S. Paul's and S. Mary's, Bedford, Kempston, Potton 
Sandy, and Steppingley, the same distinctive tolls — three for 
a male, two for a female — are given on the tenor for adults, on 
a smaller bell for children. 

The same number of tolls are given on each bell after the 
knell at Clapham, Oakley and Milton Ernest (where the knell 
is rung for five minutes only), and before the knell at Carlton, 
Chellington, Harrold, Langton (where they begin with the 
treble for children), Northill, Odell, Pavenham, Stanbridge, 
Stevington, Stotfold, Tilsworth and Toddington ; the same 
custom is followed at Blunham, Houghton Conquest and Tin- 
grith, where, however, the knell is tolled on the treble bell for 
infants. 

At Marston Moretaine they give three tolls for a male and 
two for a female on all the bells, beginning with the treble, 
both before and after the knell, which is rung on the tenor for 
adults, on the 4th or 3rd for young people in their teens and 
under. 

At Flitwick three strokes are given on all the bells for a 
male, two for a female, commencing on the tenor for adults, 
on the treble for children under twelve years of age. 

At Great Barford each bell is sounded three times for a 
man, twice for a woman, and once for a baby before the knell, 
which is rung on the tenor for males, on the treble for females. 



Peadiav Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 97 

At Clophill they orive the same tolls on each bell for a man. 
and two on each bell for a woman or child. 

At Old Warden three strokes are given on c^ach bell for a 
man, two for a woman, and one for a child, after which the 
tenor is rung up and sounded once a minute. 

Another usual form of notifying the sex in this county, as 
elsewhere, is thrice three tolls for a male, and thrice two for a 
female. Such is the custom after the knell at Caddington, 
Dunton, Lidlington and Salford ; and both before and after 
the knell at Aspley Guise, Chalgrave, Cranfield, Dunstable, 
Eversholt, Houghton Regis (where the 3rd bell is used for 
young people), Hulcote, Leighton Buzzard, Milton liryanl. 
Pertenhall, Pottesgrove, Tottenhoe, Wootton and Woburn ; 
at Tottenhoe and Wootton the treble is used for children. 

At Rattlesden and Wilhampstead the custom is to give, after 
the knell, thrice three tolls for a man, thrice two for a woman, 
and three single tolls for infants : the same custom is followed, 
both before and after the knell, at Egginton and at Hockliffe ; 
also at Millbrooke, where the tolls are given on both the bells. 

At Harlington the thrice three tolls for a male and thrice 
two for a female are given on all the bells in succession before 
the knell : the same custom is followed at IMeppershall, where 
the tenor is used for adults, the treble for children, and where, 
after the knell is rung and the bell lowered, the age of the 
deceased is tolled. 

At Shillington the same number of tolls arc given on the 

tenor bell for adults, on the 4th bell for young people, and on 

the treble for children. 

At Southill they give the same number of tolls (3 x 3 and 
o 



98 PcciUiar Uses of tJic Bedfordshire Bells. 

3x2) on the tenor for people above twenty years of age, on 
the 5th for those under twenty, on the 4th if under sixteen, 
on the 3rd if under twelve, on the 2nd if under eight, and on 
the treble if under four years of age. These are given before 
and after the knell on the tenor bell, which is rung with a 
stroke at intervals of a few seconds. 

Different customs are observed in other parishes. Thus at 
Cardington they give three tolls for a male on the bells in 
succession, commencing with the 8th (tenor) bell, and going to 
the 3rd, when the tenor is rung for the knell ; the same 
number of strokes are given on the same bells for a female, 
but commencing with the 3rd and going on to the 8th. 

At Dean and at Melchbourne three tolls are given for males 
on the tenor, and the same number on the treble for females, 
both before and after the knell on the tenor, which is tolled 
forty minutes for adults and fifteen minutes for children. 

At Tilbrook three strokes are given on all the bells " for all 
alike." 

At Husborne Crawley thrice three tolls for a male and 
thrice two for a female are given on the 3rd, 4th and 5th bells 
before and after the knell, which is rung on the tenor for 
adults, on the 5th bell for children. 

At Keysoe the custom is to give three tolls twice on all the 
bells both before and after the knell, which is rung for an 
hour, for males and females alike, commencing with the tenor 
for the former, with the treble for the latter. 

At Turvey they give, at the close of the knell on the tenor 
bell, thrice three tolls on all the bells, commencinof with the 
treble, for a male above twelve years of age ; for a female of 



Pecidiar U^cs of the Bedfordshire Bells. 99 

the same age the same number of tolls are given in succession 
on the first five bells ; for children under twelve the 5th bell 
is used for the knell, closing with three tolls on the first five 
bells for a boy, on the first four for a girl. 

In some parishes they give no distinctive tolls, but use a 
different bell for the knell, according to the age of the deceased. 
Thus at Clifton the tenor is used for adults, one of the middle 
bells for a young person, and the 3rd for infants. So, too, at 
Edworth the 3rd is used for adults, the 2nd for young persons, 
and the treble for infants ; and at Wilden — where the knell is 
rung for an hour — the tenor is used for adults and the treble 
for children. 

There is no distinction of any kind at Gravenhurst, Hawnes 
and Willington. 

In this county, as elsewhere, the Passing-bell is not rung in 
cases where an inquest is held, until the jury have given a 
verdict other ^^TiVi felo-de-se. 

Death-Knell. — In addition to the Passing-bell, the Canon 
enjoins that " after the party's death, if it so fall out, there shall 
be rung no more than one short peal." That custom is 
mentioned by Durand (who wrote about the end of the 
twelfth century), in \\\<i. Book of Ceremonies (1539). and in ilu; 
Articles of Incjuiry issued by the Bishops after the Reform- 
ation, who used such words as " or to ring a knell presently 
after the departure, that notice may be taken by all to give 
God thanks for that party's deliverance out of this vale of 
misery." Even the Puritans in 1562 were willing to allow it, 
only stipulating that " no [)eal after death of any person be 
above the space of one hour." Wheatley wrote oi *' the short 



lOO PectUiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

peal" after death as being generally rung in 1755, but the 
custom has now entirely fallen into disuse, or rather, perhaps, 
it would be more correct to say, has been superseded by the 
ringing of the still so-called Passing-bell after instead of before 
death, or whilst the soul was " passing." A trace of it may 
perhaps be found in some parishes, where the tenor bell is first 
tolled for a short space and then rting. 

Burial Peals. — The Canon enjoins, "and one other (peal) 
before the burial, and one after the burial." 

This sounding of bells at funerals is an ancient custom, and 
had been carried to great excess; indeed, so early as 1339 
Bishop Grandisson, of Exeter, found it desirable to check 
the long ringings on such occasions, on the grounds that " they 
do no good to the departed, are an annoyance to the living, 
and injurious to the fabrick and the bells."* The Puritans, in 
1562, desired to limit the peals at funerals to half-an-hour. 
Notices of this custom are constantly found in Churchwardens' 
Accounts and in other Parish Records, and provision was 
frequently made for its performance by Will. It is, however, 
now becoming obsolete, though it still lingers in a few 
parishes in this as in other counties. At Cople they chime the 
five bells for funerals ; at Hulcote and at Salford the bells are 
chimed for about twenty-five minutes before a funeral, followed 
by a tolling of the tenor for five minutes ; at Harrold the prac- 
tice, though not now followed, is remembered as customary. 

Simple tolling of the tenor bell, until the procession reaches 
the church, is now the general custom. 

The " one peal after " the funeral is now of rare occurrence, 

* EUacombe's Bells of Exeter Cathedral, p. 7. 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Dells, loi 

excepting in the case of ringers and other church officials. 
The only trace of it I have found still surviving in this county- 
is at Flitwick, where about five strokes are given on the tenor 
at the close of the Service. Until about the year 1872, the 
tenor bell was always tolled at Woburn at the end of the 
Office as the mourners left the grave. 

In pre-Reformation times the church bells were frequently 
ringing on Obit-days, that is, on the anniversaries of the deaths 
of persons, when masses — for which provision had been made 
by the deceased, or by their friends — were said for their 
benefit. Although such have long ceased in the English 
Church, 

Commemorative Services, when the bells are chimed, are 
not unknown. Oliver Peach, of Harrowden, a hamlet of Car- 
dington, in this County, who died on the 19th of June, 1715, 
aged 60 years, left a yearly rent-charge of one pound on his 
estate, afterwards purchased by Mr. Whitbread, for an annual 
sermon on the 21st of June — the day of his burial. 

The Saxctus or Saunce Bell is generally mentioned in 
the Inventories of Church Goods taken in the reign of Kdward 
VI. It was sometimes hung in a little bellcote at the gable 
of the chancel roof between that portion of the church and the 
nave, but more usually in a convenient position in the belfry — 
not unfrcquently in a window — so that the rope came down 
into the church with easy access to the server at the altar. 
When the priest said the Sauctus in the Office of the Mass, 
three strokes were given on this bell (hence its name), so that 
all within reach of its sound — whether within or without the 
church — could join in the sacred song of adoration. 



I02 Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

A few successors of the Sanctus-bell are in the Bedfordshire 
churches in the " Priest's-bell," or " ting-tang," usually rung 
immediately before the service begins. These are in many 
cases modern, being, probably, recasts of the ancient Sanctus- 
bclls. There are, however, two of those ancient bells still 
remaining in this county — the one at Lidlington and the other 
at Dunstable. 

The Sanctus-bell may have been used upon other occasions 
than the one just mentioned. Dr. Rock was of opinion that 
in many parishes some kind of instruction was given every 
Sunday in the afternoon — we know that was the case at 
Durham. To warn the parish of the sermon time, a large bell, 
or bells, would be rung for a time, followed, perhaps, by the 
ringing of the smaller or Sanctus-bell,* hence, probably, the 
origin of the modern use of 

The Priest's-bell or Tixg-Tang. At Ware, in Hert- 
fordshire, they possessed in 1552, " one lyttle belle to calle for 
ye prieste, clarke or sexton when they are absent."t This 
bell was occasionally called the 'Tantony-bell, or Saint 
Anthony bell, a small bell being the emblem of that Saint ; j 
and at Oldham it was described as " The Anthem-bell. "§ 

As just indicated, the Priest's-bell is usually sounded for a 
few minutes before Divine Service to call the clergy, but the 
one at Dunstable is rung as a Sermon-bell, and the one at 
Toddington is not only rung at the usual time, but also as an 
alarm-bell in case of fire. At Luton the Priest's-bell — which 



* See Notes and Queries, vol. xi.,p. 150 J See North's CJmrch Bells of Norihants 

(iS55)- P- 13S. 

t Cussans' Church Goods in Herts, p. 123. § Cheetham Soc, cvii. p. 43- 



Peciiliaj" Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 103 

has not been used for twenty years — is unhung, and is in an 
outhouse at the Rectory. It is said to have been formerly 
known as the Curfew-bell, and afterwards as the Fire-bell. 
It may be worth noting that the one at Wootton hangs in a 
turret, and is always rung from the chancel — the ancient mode of 
ringing the Sanctus-bell — when the parson enters the church 
for serv^ice. 

The Sacrixc:-eell is mentioned in the Inventories of 
Church Goods belonging to Eversholt and W'estoning in 1552. 
It was a small hand-bell used formerly in every church in the 
Office of the Mass, to warn the people that the elevation was 
about to take place ; it generally hung in the chancel ; some- 
times a number of small bells affixed to a wheel, which was 
pulled by a cord, were used to give the warning.* At 
Hemswell, Lincolnshire, this bell was called the " Agnus-bell," 
from its being rung at the elevation of the chalice at the close 
of the Canon, followed immediately by the singing of the 
Agnus. The ringing of the Sacring-bell was forbidden in the 
Injunctions issued in 1549-50; indeed, the necessity for ii 
passed away when the Order of Holy Communion was 
commanded to be used in English. 

Hand-bells are also mentioned as existing in parish 
churches when the Inventories were taken in the reign of 
Edward VI. They were then found at Batdesden, Cranfield, 
liusborne Crawley, Salford, and \\\:stoning, and were, doubt- 
less, at the other churches in this county, whose I nventories have 
not yet been discovered. They were used in a variety of ways 

* See Church Bells of AWthmils, p. 139. 



104 Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

in pre- Reformation times : in processions on Rogation-days, 
in lh(; procession when the Eucharist was borne to the house 
of the sick or dying, to give warning of its approach, that all 
might pay reverence to it ; hence it was sometimes called — as 
at Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire — "the Houselling-bell ;" it 
was also rung to clear the way, and to call for a prayer for the 
deceased at the burial of the dead, and so was frequently 
called "the Corse-bell" or "Lych-bell;" indeed, the hand- 
bell was used in a variety of ways in the mediaeval Church. 

The Curfew. — I am not aware that the curfew is now rung 
in any parish in Bedfordshire. It was formerly (till about the 
year 1835) rung at S. Paul's, Bedford, at 8 p.m. in the winter, 
at 9 p.m. in the summer ; but it was discontinued when the 
Corporation declined to pay the ringer's fee. So, too, it was 
rung at Leighton Buzzard until about the same date. At 
Luton the Priest's-bell is said to have been formerly known as 
the Curfew-bell, and at Woburn there is a tradition that the 
Curfew was regularly heard there many years ago. 

The Early Morning-bell. — As the Curfew, when it ceased 
to be legally enforced as a notice for the extinction of fire and 
candle, probably became the evening Angehts — a warning to 
all to say an Ave to the Blessed Virgin before retiring to 
rest ;" so the ringing of the early morning-bell arose from an 
extension of that practice. In 1399 Archbishop Arundel 
issued a mandate commanding that at early dawn one " Our 
Father," and five " Hail Marys," should be said.t As a 
reminder to all of this duty, the Angehts — which was frequently 

* See Rock's CJmrcJt of our Fathns, iii., p. 337. 
t Walcott's Sac. Arch. 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 105 

called " Gabriel," from being dedicated to the Angel of the 
Annunciation — was rung very frequently as early as four 
o'clock in the morning. The bells bearing the inscription 
Ave Maria — of which there are several remaining in this 
county — were probably used for the same purpose. The 
early morning-bell — the tenor — was rung at Toddington in 
this county at four o'clock until the year 1877, when it ceased. 
At Hockliffe. too, until recently, a bell was rung daily at 
7 a.m., and again at 9 a.m. A morning-bell was formerly 
rung at 4 a.m. at Woburn " as a school-bell in connection with 
the free-school there." It was afterwards rung at 6 a.m., but 
has been entirely discontinued for about forty years. At 
Eversholt the ist or 2nd bell is still rung daily, excepting 
Sunday, at 8 a.m. 

Other Daily Bells. — A mid-day Angelus was rung in 
France in the fifteenth century. Although that custom does 
not appear to have been followed generally in this country,* 
a IVI id-day-bell was rung in some parishes, and is still heard in 
a few ; but whether it be in all cases a survival of the mid-day 
Angehis is very doubtful. At Turvey the treble bell is tolled 
— and has been from time immemorial — at noon {12 o'clock), 
and is now considered as a signal for dinner. At Eversholt a 
bell is rung daily at one o'clock, and at Cranfield the ist and 
2nd bells are rung daily — Sundays excepted — at one and two 
o'clock, and are called dinner-bells. The I\Iid-day-bcll (3rd) 
is remembered as being formerly rung daily at mid-day at 
Oakley, and the 2nd bell at one o'clock at Pottesgrove. 

* Tlic "Avc-bell" was \\\wg at noon at t'ropedy, Oxfordshire. Sec Historical Noli,es oj 
Cropcdy, by Rev. 1). Roycc, p. 43. 
P 



lo6 Peculiar Uses of I he Bcdjovdskirc Bells. 

In the absence of all evidence to the contrary, the use of 
these mid-day bells may be generally attributed to a secular 
origin — the giving- warning to agricultural labourers and other's 
of the time — rather than to a religious one. 

TiiK PANCAKK-iiiiLL was Originally the Shrive-bell, which 
was rung on Shrove, or Shrive Tuesday, as a warning to all 
to come to church, where the parish priest sat in an open 
chair, or stall, to hear the confessions of his people, and to 
award them such penance as he thought good for them, or to 
give them absolution. Again, in times when Lent was more 
strictly observed than now as a time of abstinence from llesh- 
meat, the housewives, we are told, in order to use up all the 
grease, lard and dripping, made pancakes, and the apprentices 
and others about the house were summoned to the meal by 
the ringing of a bell, which was, naturally, called " The Pan- 
cake-bell."* 

The ringing on Shrove Tuesday of the Shrive-bell, now 
called the Pancake-bell, is still continued in a few parishes in 
this county, and is remembered in many more. 

At S. Paul's, Bedford, the 5th bell is rung at eleven o'clock, 
at Cranfield the 3rd bell is rung, at Toddington the 6th ; at 
Turvey the 1st and 2nd are chimed together at noon, making 
a most unmelodious noise, which is supposed to indicate the 
approaching commencement of the gloomy season of Lent. 

Within living memory the Pancake-bell was rung at Card- 
ington (6th bell from eleven till twelve o'clock), Eversholt, 
Harrold, Hulcote, Marston Moretaine, Oakley, Salford, 



See Notes and Queries, 3rd S. vi. 404. 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 107 

Wootton, and Wol^urn ; and at Wilden it is traditionally 
remembered. 

The quaint old clerk who serves both Carlton and 
Chellington. and who is (1881) 84 years of age, says the 
Pancake-bell used to be rung at Carlton "by a chap" whom 
he describes as " a Roman," but that since his death, about 
twenty-five years ago, the bells have not been kept up to the 
same pitch of ringing, and the Pancake-bell has been 
discontinued. 

Advext Ringing. — Although there is no special peal rung 
on Advent Sunday in this county, as in some parishes 
elsewhere, it is customary in Bedfordshire, as in other counties, 
for the ringers to practise ringing during the weeks in Adx'cnt, 
and to ring much during the Christmas season ; such is the 
case at Arlesey, Aspley Guise, Barton-lc-Clay, Cople, Dun- 
stable, Hartington, llockliffc, Hulcote, INIcppershall, and 
Salford. 

Christmas Pkals are rung in many parishes on the Ex-e of 
th(' l'\'sti\al. Such is the case at Aspley Guise, Biggleswade, 
Cardington, Dean, Egginton, Hversholt, Flitwick, Hocklitie. 
Houghton Conquest, Husborne Crawley, Leighton Buzzard, 
Marston Morctaine, Melchbourne, ]\Tep[)crshall, Pertonhall. 
Sandy, and Tingrith. 

The ringing at midnight is an old custom which is iollowcd 
at Great Barford, Ijliinham, Cople, Ihulinglon, Houghton 
Regis, Keysoe, Stanbridge, Turvey, and W'oburn, 

Merry peals arc; rung early on Christmas morning at 
Arlesey (at 6 a.m.). Great Barford, Barton-le-Clay, Cranfidd, 
Plitwich (at 8 o'clock). Goldington, Houghton Regis, Keysoe 



loS Peculiar Uses of the Ihdfordshire Bells. 

(at 7 a.m. and at 4 p.m.), Meppershall, Southill, Tilsworth, 
Toddington, and at Turvey (at 7 a.m.) 

Eastkr-dav is ushered in by peals on the bells at Arlesey, 
Eversholt, Leighton Buzzard, Meppershall, Tilsworth, and 
Toddington. At Turvey the bells are rung at the close of 
afternoon service, and at Houghton Regis the are bells some- 
times rung instead of chimed for Service on this great 
Festival. 

So, too, on other Festivals the bells are sometimes rung : — 

The Epiphany : Peals are rung at Tilsworth. 

Ascension-day : Peals are rung at the same place. 

Whitsunday Peals are rung at Eversholt, Leighton 
Buzzard, Tilsworth, Toddington, Turvey, and sometimes at 
Cranfield. 

Lady-day : the bells at Tilsworth are rung on the Feast 
of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. 

Trinity Sunday : the bells at Eversholt are rung, 

Lenten Ringing : the bells of the church should be silent 
in Lent excepting for Divine Service. No other rino-ino- is 
allowed at Eversholt, Husborne Crawley, Leighton Buzzard, 
Tilsworth (excepting one half hour a week for practice : none 
for any wedding), Turvey, and Woburn. 

Good Friday Use : at Eversholt the " early peal " at 
8 a.m. is rung on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday as on 
Sundays. At Keysoe the tenor bell is tolled for Service on 
Good Friday, 

New Year's-eve: the bells are rung on New Year's-eve 
at— amongst other places— Aspley Guise, Biggleswade, Cran- 
field, Dean, Melchbourne. Hockliffe, Husborne Crawlev, 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 109 

Marston IMoretaine, Sandy, Shillington, Tingrith, Toddington. 
and Tottenhoe. 

New Year's-eve and New Year's-dav : the old year 
is rung out and the new rung in, at Arlesey, Blunhani, 
Cardington, Cople, Eversholt, Flitwick, Hartington, Hough 
ton Regis, Leighton Buzzard, Shelton, Southill, Stanbridge, 
Wilden, and Woburn. At INIeppershall a muffled peal is rung 
on New Year's-eve for half-an-hour before midnight, ceasing 
a few minutes before twelve, to allow of the mufflers being re- 
moved. At midnight the number twelve is struck on the tenor, 
and then another peal is rung for halfan-hour. A peal is also 
rung at day-break on New Year's-day. Early peals are also 
rung on that day at Barton-le-Clay, Marston Moretainc, 
Shillinorton, and Harlinorton. 

S. Hugh's-dav: in the Churchwardens' Accounts of 
Shillington are charges in many years between 1574 and 1594 
for ringing on S. Hugh's-day. It may be well to note that 
this ringing was not in honour of the great Bishop of Lincoln, 
but in celebration of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, which 
took place upon S. Hugh's-day, and which Saint's day, in 
accordance with ancient custom, was frequently quoted as a 
date instead of the day and the month — 1 7th November. The 
day was also known as " Oueen's-day." 

Dedication Peals are runij at Tilsworth on All Saint's- 
day ; at Turvey on the Monday following the first Sunday 
after All Saints'-day, and at JMilton Ernest on " the Feast- 
day," which is said to be the 2nd Sunday in July, although 
the church is supposed to be dedicated to all Saints. 

Until quite recently a peal was always rung at Husborne 



I lo Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

Crawley at 8 a.m. on S. Jamcs'-day, the titular Saint of the 
Church. This ringing, which was voluntary on the part of the 
ringers, was, it is said, discontinued in consequence of an 
objection being made to the time, possibly by the farmers, 
most of the ringers being labourers. 

Banns Peal — that is, a peal after Divine Service on 
Sunday morning, when the banns of an intended marriage are 
first "put up" — is sometimes rung at Biddenham, Hulcote, 
and Langford ; at the last mentioned place the ringing depends 
entirely on the "tips" given to the sexton, which, he says, 
vary " from five bob to only a pint or two." 

Wedding Peals are, of course, usual in almost every parish 
in the county ; at Pertenhall, however, they are only very 
occasionally rung for a wedding by license ; at Pottesgrove 
they are heard " now and then ;" at Tottenhoe they are " few 
and far between ;" at Tilsworth no wedding peal is allowed 
to be rung during Lent; at Marston Moretaine peals are rung 
during the day if the parties can pay — if they are poor the 
ringers give a peal in the evening ; and at Husborne Crawley 
merry peals are voluntarily given in the evening of the day on 
every marriage at the church, without respect of persons, if the 
ringers can muster, which is generally the case. 

The Bride's Peal is occasionally rung in some parishes 
on the morning after the wedding, called " Ringing them up." 
The only approach to it in Bedfordshire is at Steppingley, 
where, sometimes, a peal is rung on the day after the wedding. 

Fair Peals are rung at Toddington on the 25th April, 
being the day of the fair. 

The Oven-bell : the mill and oven of the Lord of the 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 1 1 1 

Manor formerly existed in many parishes ; to them the tenants 
of the Manor were expected to resort to grind their corn and 
to bake their bread. In some places a bell was rung, called 
the "oven-bell," to give warning that the Manor oven was 
heated and ready for use. There is only one trace of this 
custom in Bedfordshire — at Shillington there are faint re" 
miniscences of the Oven-bell being rung, but the custom has 
been long discontinued. 

The Marki:t-i;ell, which was formerly heard in many 
market towns, where it was rung to announce when buying 
and selling should commence, and so prevent forestalling, 
etc., has no representative now in this county. The only trace 
of it I have found — and that not in connection with a church 
bell— is at Woburn, where a small bell, used as a Market-bell, 
formerly hung at the Town Hall. It was stolen from the 
Park Farm — where it had been placed for safety during the 
building of a new Town Hall — about the year 1829. 

The Restoration of Charles the Second is well com- 
memorated in this countv. At Cranfield rino^ini/ commences 
as early as three o'clock in the morning, and is continued at 
intervals throughout the day ; a large bough of oak is affixed 
to the top of the church tower, and the day is observed, more 
or less, as a holiday in the village. At Toddington the bells 
are rung from three till five o'clock in the morning. At 
Blunham they ring two or three peals, commencing at loin- 
o'clock in the mornin'"- ; and the bells are still runLT on this 
day at Dunstable, Houghton Conquest, Houghton Regis 
(morning and evening), Kempstone, Marston Moretainc, 
Potton, and at Shillington (with an oak bough on the tower), 



1 1 2 Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

where we find ;i very early instance of it recorded in the 
Churchwardens' Accounts : — 

1661. ( liven to y'= Ringers y<= 29th of May 026 

Until recently the bells were rung on this day at Cardington, 
Carlton, Chellington, Harrold, Oakley, Sharnbrook, Willington, 
and Wilden. 

The Gleaning-bell is rung in many parishes during 
harvest in the morning and evening, that all — old and feeble, 
as well as young and active— may have a fair start. Such a 
bell is rung at 7 a.m. and at 6 p.m. at Great Barford, 
Blunham, Carlton, Chellington, Keysoe, Langford, and at 
Muggerhanger ; at 7 a.m. and at 7 p.m. at Houghton Regis, 
IMilton Ernest, Pavenham, and Willington ; at Sandy the ist 
bell is rung at 6 a.m. and at 6 p.m. ; at Bolnhurst a bell is 
rung at 6 a.m., and again in the evening ; at Clifton and at 
Harrold the bell is rung in the morning at 7 a.m. The 
school-bell (not one of the church bells) is rung as the 
Gleaning-bell at Meppershall. 

The Gleaning-bell is remembered as being rung, though 
now discontinued, at Dunton, Marston Moretaine, Pertenhall, 
Sharnbrook, Turvey, and Wilden. At Turvey the gleaners 
used to pay a fee of a halfpenny each to the ringer. 

The Executiox-bell : the 5th bell at S. Paul's, Bedford, 
was formerly tolled as the criminal passed on his way to be 
hanged, calling on the people to pray for one passing from 
this life. 

The Fh-ie-bell : a special bell is sometimes rung as an 
alarm in case of fire. The Priest's-bell is so rung at Todding- 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 1 1 3 

ton, the 5th at Houghton Regis, and the tenor at Husborne 
Crawley. 

Gunpowder Plot. — The discovery of this plot is still 
commemorated by the ringing of merry peals at Cranfield, 
Dunstable, Goldington, Houghton Conquest, Kempstone, 
Leighton Buzzard, Marston Moretaine, Odell, Pertenhall, 
Potton, Sandy, Wootton, and, occasionally, at Stanbridge. 

At Houcfhton Rec^is the bells are raised and clashed or fired 
{i.e. all together) at intervals — called in Lincolnshire "shooting 
old Guy " — breaking into rounds after about half-a-dozen 
" fires." At Toddington, too, the bells are similarly rung. 

Ringing on this day is remembered, though not now 
practised, at S. Peter's, Bedford, Cardington, Carlton, Chcl- 
lington, Harrold, Hawnes, Oakley, Sharnbrook, Wildcn, and 
Willington. The Churchwardens' Accounts of Shillinglon 
have an early entry about it : — 

1619. Bestowed upon the ringers the v^'^ of November xij,/. 

and in 1665 there is a charge for ringing on "Gunpowder 
Tresson day." 

The Mote or Common Bell which was ordered by 
Edward the Confessor to be sounded, in case of danger, 
to convene the people, and which was so commonly used, ai 
least, in all large towns in mediaeval and later limes, as at 
Stafford, " to geather to all things pertening to the townc," has 
a representative in many parishes in 

The Vestry Bell, which is rung as a summons to a town 
or parish meeting. The ist bell is rung as a call to vestry 
meetings at Barton-le-Clay, Battlesden, Blunham, Harlington, 
Q 



1 1 4 Peculiar Uses of Ike Bedfordshire Bells. 

Stanbridgc, Tilsworth, Turvey and Wilden ; the 2nd bell is 
rung at Langford ; the 3rd at Ampthill and at Husborne 
Crawley ; the 4th at Pavenham ; the 5th at Houghton Regis ; 
the 6th at Toddington ; the 7th at Dunstable ; the tenor at 
Goldington and at Hockliffe ; one of the bells is also rung as 
a summons to vestries at Chalgrave, Clapham, Cople, Cran- 
field, Dunton, Egginton, Gravenhurst, Hadey Cockayne, 
Houghton Conquest, Hulcote, Keysoe, Lidlington, Milton 
Bryant, Milton Ernest, Pertenhall, Shillington, Tilbrook, 
Tingrith, and Old Warden. 

At S. Paul's and at S. Peter's, Bedford, the summons is by 

about ninety strokes given on the tenor bell three times, with 

a short interval between each tollinof. 

Until recently the vestry-bell was heard at S. Mary's, 

Bedford, Carlton, Chellington, Kempstone, Pottesgrove, 

Sandy, Wootton, and Woburn. 

Induction-bell : the old custom of the new parish priest 

ringing one of the church bells upon being inducted into his 

living is referred to in an entry in the Parish Register of 

Houghton Conquest thus : — 

Mr. Loverly took poset'on of the church of Houghton Conquest and 
Ronge his Bells the 7 th day of Jun being wisson Sunday. 

Mayor's Peals are rung at S. Mary's, Bedford, when the 
new mayor is chosen. 

Public Rejoicings would be incomplete without merry 
peals from the church bells ; so thought the Corporation of 
Bedford when, as recorded in their Black Book, they received 



Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. i r 5 

their new Charter from Charles the Second, in the year 16S4. 
The entries are : — 

1684. A|:iril 11. Renewal of Charter. 

July 33. Ordered that the Chamberlains do i)ay Henry Lower 
J[^Z~' ^7- ^- fo^ Dinners and \\'ine the 19th Ins'- July 
being the Day of the Reception of the new Charter 
and Treatment of the Earl of Aylesbury and other 
Gent, there present. And ^i. 5. o. to be paid to 
the Ringers.* 

Loyal Peals : upon all occasions calling for an expression 
of loyalty, such as the anniversaries of the Queen's birthday, 
accession and coronation, the bells are rung in many parishes, 
and so it was in times past. The accounts of the church- 
wardens of Shillington have entries such as : — 

162S. Item given to the Ringers on the Coronation day iJ5-. 

1629. Ite' given for ringing u[)on the King's holyday ijr. 

That would be S. James' Day, when, as we know from 
similar records in other parishes, the bells were then frequently 
rung. 

We have already seen (p. 22) that change-ringing was 
practised in this county at an early date ; we have noticed its 
gradual decline, and have referred to the efforts now being 
made to revive the art by the establishment of a Bedfordshire 
Association of Change-ringers. 

It may be well to remark that this Association is not only 
intended to encourage the cultivation of scientific change- 
ringing, but to promote belfry reform. 

* For making these extracts I am indebted to D. G. Cary-EIwcs, Esq., K. S..\. 



ii6 Pcmliar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells. 

An important step towards that reform is to make the 
ringers* chamber not only clean, but comfortable ; it should be 
furnished with proper light, with pegs for coats and hats, and 
have the windows glazed. Another important step forward is 
made when the parson, rope in hand, can take his place among 
the ringers, and by his presence improve their moral standard 
and the general tone of the belfry. 

The bells, too, should be well looked after. Mr. Haweis 
says : " The Belfry should look like a fire-engine room in a 
first-rate factory. It should be a pleasure as well as an 
instructive lesson to go into it. When all was in motion, 
everything should be so neatly fitted and thoroughly oiled, 
that we should hear no sound save only the melodious 
booming of the bells themselves."* 

* Music ami Morals, p. 460, 




LATIN INSCRIPTIONS 



ON 

CHURCH BELLS IN BEDFORDSHIRE. 

[With Translations.*] 

AVE MARIA. 

S^Hail Mary.\ 

CUM CANO BUSTA MORI CUM PULPITA VIVERE DISCE, 
DISCE MORI NOSTRO VIVERE DISCE SONO. 

\When I sin i( of Tombs, learn to die ; w/ien of Pulpifs, leant to lire ; learn by 
our sound to die {and) learn to live.\ 

CUM VOCO VENITE. 

\Conie when I call. ^ 

DOMINE MEMENTO MEL 

\Remember nu\ O Lord.\ 

EGO SUM VOX CLAMANTIS. 

\I am tlie voice of one r/j'///^.] 

EX ANNA NATA SALVET NOS \TRr.O BEATA. 

\_May tlie Blessed Virgin^ born of Anna ^ save us.\ 



* For these I am indebted tu the kindness of a friend. 



ii8 Latin htscriptions on Church Bells. 

FYDRLIS MRSURIS NOMEN CAMPANA MYKAELYS. 
[The Rev. I. T. Fowler suggests thai as it stands it may be MidiacPs bell is 
(my) name (I am) true in (my) measjires (dimensions or tone) ; but tliat 
something seems to be missing, and " Fydelis " clearly ought to rhyme 

with " Mykaelis."] 

GLORIA DEO SOLI 

\Glory to God alo7ie^ 

GLORIA DEO IN EXCELSIS. 

\Glory to God in the highest ?[ 

GLORIA PATRI FILIO ET SPIRITUI SANCTO. 

\Glory he to t/ie Father, to the Son, and to the Holy GhosfP\ 

GRATA SIT ARGUTA RESONANS CAMPANULA VOCE. 

\_May the little bell be pleasant, sounding with clear tone.] 

GURGITE ET AUDITE VOCEM MEAM. 

[And hear my voice in the depth.] 

HOC SIGNUM PETRI PULSATUR NOMINE CHRISTI FUSUM. 

A.D. MDCCCXXV. 
[This bell of Peter is ru7ig in the name of Christ. Cast A.D. 1825.] 

HONORABILI VIRO DOMINO HENRIC. GRAVE MARIQUE UXORI 

EJUS BENE PRECATUR ARTIFEX 1580. 
[ The founder prays well for the Hon. Lord Hefuy Graye a?id for Mary his 

wife, 1580.] 

IH'S NAZARENUS REX JUDEORUM FILI DEI MISERERE MEL 

[Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Son of God, have mercy on ?ne.] 

IN MULTIS ANNIS RESONET CAMPANA lOHANNIS. 

[For many years may John's bell resound.] 

MUSA RAFAELIS SONAT AURIBUS EMANUELIS. 
[The song of Raphael sounds in EmmanuePs ears^ 

NOMEN MAGDALENE CAMPANA GERET MELODIE. 
[This bell shall bear melodiously the 71a me of Magdalene,] 



Latin Iiiscviptions on Chunk Be lis. 1 19 

NON CLAMOR SED AMOR CANTAT IN AURE DEI. 
\^Love's voicCy not noise, si>igs in the ear of God.\ 

NON VERBO SED VOCE RESONABO DOMINI LAUDES. 

[^Resound the praises of the Lord not in word, but -with roiie.\ 

O MARTIR XPOFORE PRO NOBIS SEMPER ORATE. 

[C Martyr Christopher, ever pray for //j.] 

OMNIA FIANT AD GLORIAM DEI. 

\_Let all be done to the glory of God.] 

PATER IN MANUS TUAS COMMENDO SPIRITUM MEUM. 
[Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.] 

SANCTE PAULE ORA PRO NOBIS. 
[Holy Paul, pray for us.] 

SIT NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM. 

[Blessed be the Name of the Lord.] 

STATUTUM EST OMNIBUS SEMEL MORI. 
[// is appointed unto all men once to die. ] 

SUM ROSA PULSATA MUNDI MARIA VOCATA. 
[/, being rung, am called Mary the Rose of the World.] 

SUM CAMPANA MARIE MATRIS MESSIE PIE. 
[/ am the bell of Mary, the pious mother of Messiah.] 

TE DEUM LAUDAMUS. 

[ We praise Thee as God?^ 

TU INTONAS DE COEITS VOX CAMPAN/E MICHAELIS 

ITERUM FUSA. 
[Thou soundest from the heavens, O voice of bell Michael cast again.] 

VOX AUGUSTINI SONET IN AURE DEI. 
[Let the voice of Augustine sound in the car oj God.] 

XPE AUDI NOS. 
[O Christ, hear us.] 



I-'O 



Avcraj^c IV eight of Bells. 



List ok Tiiii Average Weights and Sizes of Bells cast 
by Messrs. Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapcl ; Messrs. Taylor 
& Co., Loughborough ; and Messrs. Warner & Sons, Cripple- 
gate, London. The diameter being known, a reference to 
this list will give the approximate weight of any bell. 





Messrs. Mears. 


Mess 


Rs. Taylor. 


Messrs. Warner. 






Weight. 




IVeighi. 


Weight. 




Inches, 


c'iVis. (jrs. His. 


eivL 


. (jrs, ll>s. 


C7vts. qrs. lbs. 


Inches, 


20 


I 3 


2 





I 3 


20 


21 


200 


2 


1 


200 


21 


22 


220 


2 


2 


2 I 


22 


23 


230 


2 


3 


2 2 14 


23 


24 


300 


3 





300 


24 


25 


320 


3 


2 


320 


25 


26 


400 


4 





400 


26 


27 


4 I 


4 


2 


4 I 


27 


28 


420 


5 





430 


28 


29 


500 


5 


2 


5 I 


29 


30 


5 I 


6 





5 3 


30 


31 


620 


6 


2 


600 


31 


32 


600 


7 


I 


6 2 14 


32 


^i 


630 


7 


3 


700 


33 


34 


720 


8 


I 


720 


34 


35 


700 


9 





800 


35 


36 


S 


9 


3 


820 


36 


37 


900 


10 


2 


900 


37 


38 


920 


II 





10 


38 


39 


10 


II 


3 


10 3 


39 


40 


II 


12 


2 


12 


40 


41 


13 2 22 


13 


2 


12 3 


41 


42 


14 2 


14 


2 


13 3 


42 


43 


14 3 


15 


2 


14 2 


43 


44 


16 2 


16 


2 


15 


44 


45 


17 3 18 


17 


2 


16 


45 


46 


17 


18 


2 


17 


46 


47 


18 


20 





18 


47 


48 


20 


21 





19 


48 


49 


20 


22 





20 3 


49 


50 


22 


23 


2 


23 


50" 


SI 


25 I 10 


25 





24 2 


51 


52 


24 


27 





25 3 


52 


53 


25 


28 





27 


53 


54 


26 


30 





28 


54 


S| 


27 2 


31 





29 


55 


^ 56 


30 


32 





30 


56 


57 


33 3 7 


34 





31 


57 


58 


35 


36 





32 


58 


59 


35 45 


39 





34 2 


59 


60 


38 


42 





36 


66 



THE INSCRIPTIONS 



ON THE 



CHURCH BELLS OF BEDFORDSHIRE, 

With the Diameter at the mouth of each bell, from which its 
approximate weight may be ascertained (see opposite page). 
To which are added Extracts, where procurable, from the 
Commissioners' Returns temp. Edward VL, and from Paro- 
chial and other Records, together with Local Traditions, 
Notices of Donors, etc., etc. 



Note. — The 7itC77ibers between [ ] refer to the ^ooodcuts itwrked into the letter- 
press. It being impossible to reproduce here the various forms of mediaeval Gothic 
letters fotmd on the ancient bells, one form of letter is used to indicate where 
Gothic capitals are foufid [ J5_ ^ O'] and one form where small Gothic, or 
" black letter," is found [a b l*J. For the various forms of Roman letters found 
on modern bells, one form [A B C] 70 ill suffice. 

Errors of spelling, misplacement of letters, etc., etc., in the follojving Inscrip- 
tions, are copied literally from the Bells. They are therefore Founders' blunders, 
and not Printers' mistakes. 

A I'eference to the pages given after the name of each Parish in the Index will 
supply, in most instances, information as to the uses of the Church Bells therein. 

A similar reference to the pages given after the name of each Foundry or 
Founder, will furnish some particulars respecting it or him. 
R 



1 2 2 The Inscriptions on the 



AMPTHILL. 

S. Andrew. 5 Bells. 

1. IHS NAZARENE REX JUD^ORUM FILI DEI MISERERE 

MEI -H GLORIA DEO SOLI h- A • . • DOM O 1725 O. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 23 in.) 

2. T : B : STONE & I : KIRK C : WARDENS I : BRIANT HERT- 

FORD FECIT 181 1. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 24^ in.) 

3. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1665. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 26 in.) 

4. DAVID BRODIE ESQ. 

O CHURCHWARDENS O. 
JOHN LEACH 

CHARLES WHEELER WILLIAM JONES. 
WILLIAM EMMERTON OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1768. 
(Diam. 40 in., height 30 in.) 

5. IHS NAZARENUS REX JUD^ORUM FILI DEI MISERERE 

MEI -1- 
GLORIA PATRI FILIO ET SPIRITUI SANCTO T: EAVRE. 
KETT. 1725. 

(Diam. 4^ in., height 32 in.) 



ARLESEY. 

S. Peter. 6 Belis. 

1—5. J. WARNER & SONS FOUNDERS, LONDON, 1877. 

cwt. qr. lb. 

1. Diam. 28 in,, weight 5 i 24, Note E. 

2. Diam. 30 in., weight 5 2 25, Note D. 

3. Diam. 32 in., weight 6 i 24, Note C. 

4. Diam. 34 in., weight 7 d 10, Note B. 

5. Diam. 36 in., weight 7 3 19, Note A. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 23 

6. THIS BELL IS GIVEN BY REV. RICHD. FOLLIOT SCOTT, 
M.A., VICAR OF ARLESEY, IN MEMORY OF HIS GRAND- 
FATHER, JAMES CURTIS, ESQ., B.C.S. 

? (f ^VLES } CHURCHWARDENS. 
YDoJtor's \) Arms\ 
(Diam. 39^ in., weight 10 cwt. 3 qr. 15 lb., Note G.) 

The ancient spire of this church fell in the early part of the last century, and 
the story is that the people then sold the ring of bells, according to the 
distich current in the neighbourhood : — 

" Arlesey, Arlesey, naughty people. 
Sold their bells to build their steeple," 

but did not so expend the money. 

The tradition at Arlesey is that their bells went to the neighbouring village 
of Shillington, but that is not correct, as we learn from the Shillington bells, 
and also from an account made by Browne Willis of the expenses attending 
the recasting of the bells, and augmenting the ring, at Bletchley, in Bucking- 
hamshire, in the year 17 12. In that year the five bells there were taken down, 
and with " eighteen hundredweight of additional metal (which cost, with the 
carriage of it from Arlesey in Bedfordshire to Bletchley, with other expenses 
in bringing it, ^65 i6s.) were delivered to Mr. Abraham Rudhall, of Glou- 
cester," bellfounder, who recast the whole into a new ring of eight bells.* 

It appears from this transaction that the Arlesey bells were broken when 
the spire fell. This is rendered more evitient by the fact that in the wooden 
erection, shortly afterwards put up, the parishioners did not place one of the 
bells belonging to the old ring— which they probably would have done had 
one been in a sound condition — but a new one, which was inscribed : — 

Henry Russell of Wootton made me 1714- 

This single bell, which weighed 5 cwt. i qr. 6 lb., was the only bell hanging 
here from the time of the loss of the ancient ring until— a new tower having 



* Notes and Queries, i S. xii. 60. 



124 



The Insc7'iptions on tJie 



been built at the cost of the widow of the late S. Bedford Edwards, Esq. — the 
present bells were hung in the year 1877. They were purchased by subscrip- 
tion, and cost ;^48o. The new ring was opened by six members of the ancient 
Society of College Youths, on the 27th of June, 1877, on which occasion the 
new tower was also consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Ely. 

Mr. Curtis, to whose memory the tenor bell was given, was patron of the 
living. The arms under the inscription are those of the donor — the present 
vicar — three Catherine wheels in a bordure engrailed. 



ASPLEY GUISE. 



S. BOTOLPH. 



6 Bells. 



-5. JOHN TAYLOR & CO. BELLFOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 
1883. 

TO THE GLORY OF GOD. J. C. MALTBY M.A. RECTOR 
G. A. D. MAHON. W. SMITH CHURCHWARDENS 
APRIL 1883. JOHN TAYLOR & CO. BELLFOUNDERS 
LOUGHBOROUGH. 



The weights of these Bells are : — 








cwt. 


qr. 


lb. 


I, 


3 








2, 


3 


3 


1 1 


3- 


4 


2 


27 


4- 


5 


2 


9 


5- 


7 





I 


6. 


10 





II 


Total 


34 


I 


3 



The previous ring consisted of four bells only, which were inscribed : — 

1. Thomas Russell of Wootton [made] mee 17 15. 

(Weight, 4 cwt. I qr. 18 lb.) 

2. Who made thee Chandler made me 1654. 

(Weight, 5 cwt. 3 qr. o lb.) 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 125 

3. G. Mears & Co. Founders London iS6r. 

(Weight, 6 cwt. 3 qr. 23 lb.) 

4. C. & G. Mears founders London 1S50. 

(Weight, 7 cwt. I qr. 15 lb.) 

These four bells were, to use a ringer's report, " a bad lot, both as regards 
gear and tone ; they are not of one family" The previous 3rd bell was 
cracked, and so had to be recast in the year 1861 ; and the previous tenor fell 
out of the gudgeons and was cracked, when one " Will Brown " was ringing 
the Sermon-bell on a Sunday morning. It had a narrow escape of being again 
broken on its return from the founders, for, the task of rehanging it being 
entrusted to John Hewlatt, of Aspley, and he attempting to raise it by a rope 
too weak for the purpose, the bell fell upon the stone floor when above fifteen 
feet high. Fortunately only a small piece was chipped off, the sound not being 
materially altered. 

The new bells were dedicated by a special service on Tuesday, 29th of May, 
1883. There are some useful rules for the guidance of the ringers. 



ASPLEY GUISE [District Church]. 

This modern District Church has one small bell, cast by Messrs. Mears and 
Stainbank in 1S68. 



ASTVVICK. 

S. GuTHLAC. I Bell. 

The single bell here (which is traditionally believed to have been stolen 
from Stotfold) is so difficult of access that I am reluctantly compelled to leave 
it undescribed. 

BARFORD GREAT. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

[^39]- . , 

(Diam. 32;l- in., height 27 in.) 



126 The Inscriptions on the 

a. DANIEL GOVLDSMITH. CLERICVS. GVLIELMVS CARTER. 
GEN. 1636 [U 39]- 

(Diam. 33J in., height 26 in.) 

3. GVLIELMVS CLARKE ET GEORGIVS FLAVEL GARDIANI 

1636 [U39]- 

(Diam. 35^ in., height 28| in.) 

4. IH'a : NAZARENVS : REX JVDEORVM : FILI : DEI '• 

MISERERE : MEI : 1636 [U 39]. 

(Diam. 39I in., height 31 in.) 

(Diam. 43^ in., height 34 in.) 

For the Stamp on these bells see p. 60. For letters used on ist and 5th, see 
p. 59, for those on 4th, see p. 63. 

This is a fine ring of uniform bells from the foundry of Hugh Watts, of 
Leicester. 

The Parish Register tells us that " Daniel Gouldsmyth [see 2nd bell] was 
endowed with the Vicarage of Barford in the yeare of our Lord 1635." He 
signs the Register until the year 1644, when the writing changes, and the 
entries are made in English. There is no entry of his burial. 

We also learn from the Register that William Carter [see 2nd bell] was 
churchwarden in 1633 and 1634. After the entries of the baptism of three 
children (1630, 1632, 1634), we find that of his daughter Elizabeth on the 
3rd of September, 1637, and six days after (9th of September) the record of 
the burial of his first wife, Anna, " pulcherrima, amantissima, suavissima." 
He himself was buried on the 5th of September, 1644.* 



BARFORD LITTLE. 

S. Denys or S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

I. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 16S1. 

(Diam. 26^ in., height igi in.) 



* For lliese notes from the Registers I am indebted to the Rev. C. Greene. 



Chiii'ch Bells of Bedfordshire. i 2 7 

2. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1661. 

(Diam. 27^ in., height 20 in.) 

3. Blank. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 21 in.) 

4. JOHN GAMBLE MINISTER. EDWARD PECK CHURCH- 

WARDEN 1759. 

(Diam. 30} in., height 24 in.) 

The Rev. John Gamble (see tenor bell) was inducted to this benefice in 
March, 1733, and died in 1763. 



BARTON-LE-CLAY. 

S. Nicolas. S Bells. 

I, 2, 3. [ + I ] BE . YT . KNOWNE . TO . ALL . THAT . DOTH . 
ME SEE . THAT . NEWCOMBE . OF . LEICESTER . 
MADE . MEE . 1604. 

(i. Diam. 34 in., height 27 in. 

2. Diam. 36^ in., height 27 in. 

3. Diam. 39 in., height 31 in.) 

4. + RUSSELL OF WOOTON MADE ME 1743 + ROBERT HURST 

AND RICHARD CROUCH CHURCHWARDENS. 
(Diameter 42^ in., height 33 in.) 

5. JOHN HALE RICHARD CROVCH C. W. 1622. 

(Diam. 47 in., height 34 in.) 

For Stamp on ist see p. 41- 



BATTLESDEN. 

S. Peter and All Saints. 3 Bells. 

t. Blank. 

(Diam. 29 J in., height 22 in., cracked.) 



128 Tlie Inscriptions on the 

2. THOMAS MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1813. 

(Diam. 31 in,, heigh* 23 in.) 

3. Blank. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 29^ in.) 

In 1552 " Batelysdene " possessed " Item ij hanbelles Item in the stepuU of 
the scid churche iij Belles."* 

The treble bell, being cracked, is not now used. 

Close to the church is Battlesden House, a handsome modern structure, 
built upon the site of a previous mansion, formerly the residence of Sir 
Saunders Duncombe, and subsequently of Lord Bathurst. Here is a clock 
which strikes upon a bell which belonged to the former house. The bell, 
which hangs on the roof of the house, is in ringable order, having a wheel, 
rope, etc. It is inscribed : — 

ANTHONY BARTLETT MADE MEE 1674. 

(Diam. 21 in., height 18 in.) 

and bears the founder's stamp of Thomas Bartlett. 



BEDFORD. 

S. Paul. 8 Bells. 

I. MEARS & STAINBANK. FOUNDERS. LONDON. 
MICHAEL FERRABEE SADEL, RVICAR. 

JOHN MASON CUTHBERT^(.j^uRCHWARDENS. 1868. 
JOHN TRAPP I 

(Diam. 31 in., height 24 in.) 

2,4. THOMAS LESTER MADE ME 1744. 

(Diams. 31^ and 37 in., heights 26 and 30^ in.) 

3. MEARS & STAINBANK. FOUNDERS. LONDON. 

(Diam. 37 in., height 26 in.) 



* Land Revenue Records, Bundle 1 392, File 2, P.R. Off. 



CJi u rch Bells of Dedfo rdsh ire . 129 

5. BY A SUDDEN FALL MY SUBSCRIBERS DID SUPPRISE BUT 

NOW AM COME TO PLEASE THEIR LISENLNG EARS 
AND EYES. T. L. 1744. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 34 in.) 

6. THOS. LESTER MADE ME. 

(Diam. 45 in., height 35 in.) 

7. THQS LESTER OF LONDON MADE ME 1744. 

(Diam. 49 in., height 35 in.) 

8. JOHN RUSSELL MAYOR. THOMA^ RICHARDS JAMES 

BRADLEY CHURCHWARDENS 1744. THOMAS LESTER 
OF LONDON MADE US ALL. 

(Diam. 52 in., height 41 in., weight 27 cwt.) 

Prior to 1744 there were five bells only. 

The ring of eight bells was opened in the spring of 1745, as is shown by 
the following extract from the minutes of a meeting of the Common Council 
held on the 19th of April in that year : — 

" It is voted ordered and agreed unto at this Court of Common Council 
That the Chamberlains of this Corporation shall pay amongst eight 
men that shall come from Saint Michael, Cornhill, London, the sum 
of six guineas for their trouble in ringing the new Peal of Eight 
Bells which are hung up in the steeple of the Parish Church of Saint 
Paul in this Town." 
The treble has been an unfortunate bell : it was cast with the others in 1744, 
and inscribed : — 

" At proper times my Voice I'll raise and sound to my subscribers 
praise 1744. Thomas Lester made me," 
cracked, and recast by Lester and Chapman in 1755, and again cracked, and 
recast, as above, in 1868. 

The old chimes here having been long silent, a new machine was erected 
by Messrs. Gillett and Bland in 1879, through the exertions of Mr. Elger. It 
consists of two barrels, each playing seven tunes — three sacred and four 
secular. The new carillon machine was opened with a religious service on 
New Year's Day, 18S0. The following inscription, engraved on a plate, records 
this acceptable addition to the belfry : — 

" The purchase by public subscription, and the erection of these chimes 
in this Tower of the Parish Church of Saint Paul, Bedford, were 
S 



1 30 The Inscriptions on the 

originated by Thomas Gwyn Empy Elger, Esquire, during his 
Mayoralty in the year of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 1879." 
The Rev. M. F. Sadler (see ist bell) resigned on the 13th of March, 1870. 

BEDFORD. 

S. Peter. 5 Bells and a Clock Bell. 

1. TV INTONAS DE CGELIS. VOX CAMPAN^ MICHAELIS 

ITERVM FVS.^. A.D. MDCCCXXV. PHILIPPO HVNT. 
LLD. ECCL. DIV. PETRI RECTORE GVLIELMO BROWN 
THOMA SMALL ^DITVIS. 

(Diam. 24 in., height 21 in.) 

2. ooD svAa THa :hii\[g oso. 

(Diam. 24 in., height 22^ in., piece cut out, originally cracked). 

3- M-i^mi^m ^^.(srm^is^ i^m:M<^ 1609 [U39]. 

(Diam. 26 in., height 2i| in.) 

4. HOC SIGNUM PETRI PVLSATVR NOMINE CHRTSTI FVSVM. 

A.D. MDCCCXXV. GVLIELMO BROWN. THOMA SMALL 
^DITVIS PHILIPPO HVNT. LLD. ECCL. D. PETRI. 
RECTORE. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 23 in.) 

5. THOMAS GROVES AND JOHN LANGFORD CHVRCH- 

WARDENS. THOMAS RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE 
ME 1733. 

(Diam. 32-I- in., height 24 in.) 

Clock Bell : — 

RIC. CHANDLER MADE ME 1701. 

(Diam. i6| in., unhung, no clapper). 

For Stamp, see p. 60. For specimens of letters used on 3rd, see p. 59. 

The Rev. Philip Hunt (see ist and 4th bells) was presented to the living in 
1799, and died in 1S35. 

The inscription on the second bell is curious and noteworthy. The Common- 
wealth was declared on the 19th of IMay, 1649, but here we have a bell cast 
in the following year bearing the loyal inscription, ' God save the King.' 

The letters are placed, many of them, upside down, and it has been sug- 
gested that the Royalist founder so placed them in order that the ignorant 
might not readily read the inscription, and so not notice the expression of his 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 131 

sentiments. Such blunders, however, are not uncommon on bells (Elstow, 
4th bell, and Old Warden 2nd, both in this county, are examples). Probably 
the casting of the bell was so near to the declaration of the Commonwealth, 
and the state of public opinion was still so unsettled, that the founder ventured 
on one of his old and favourite inscriptions. 

The small bell was formerly used as a clock-bell, and now shows the hammer- 
marks on the outside. It probably hung in a small bell turret, which was 
formerly on the top of the tower. 

BEDFORD. 

S. Mary. 6 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

1. t J : EAYRE. S'l" NEOTS O 1748 -^ + J : ACHURCH. BROM- 

SALL. C.W. 

(Diam. 24 in., height 21 in.) 

2. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1682. 

(Diam. 24 in., height 21 in.) 

3. NEWCOMBE OF LEICESTER MADE MEE 1604. 

(Diam. 25 in., height 20 in.) 

4. [Ui7- U 19- U 18 O U 14- U20. ] 

(Diam. 27 in., height 21 in.) 

5. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME. 1682. 

(Diam. 30^- in., height 23 in.) 

6. .ii:B<3r:E)©- :^<^jj^i\^ jh^jxms^ 1609 [U39]- 

(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 
Priest's Bell : — 

1750- 
(Diam. 13 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 50, 5 1 and 60, and for letters used on 6th bell, sec p. 59. 

BEDFORD. 

S. John Baptist. i Bell. 

I. T. Mears of London Fecit 1827. 

John Green Amos ) ^ 

•' V Churchwardens. 

John Woodward J 

(Diam. 31 in., height 25 in.) 



132 The Inscriptions 071 the 

It is said that the present bell replaced one which was cracked whilst being 
rung — it must have been a sorry peal — for Colonel McQueen's election for 
the county. 

BEDFORD. 

S. CuTHBERT. I Bell. 

I. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1831. 

(Diam. 24 in.) 



BEDFORD. 

Holy Trinity. i Bell. 

I. JOHN TAYLOR, BELLFOUNDER, 1840. 
GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 22 in.) 



BIDDENHAM. 

S. James. 6 Bells. 

1. BE LIGHT AND GLAD IN GOD REJOICE EMMERTON FECIT 

1787. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 22 in.) 

2. EMMERTON CAST THIS PEAL 1787. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 

3. EMMERTON FECIT 1787. 

(Diam, 32 in., height 25 in.) 

4. WILLIAM EMMERTON OF WOOTTON 1787. 

(Diam. 33 J- in., height 25 i in.) 

5. EMMERTON FECIT 1787. Five old Bells cast into six at the 

EXPENCE OF Mr, John Brooks. 

(Diam. 37 in., height 27 in.) 
6 BLESSED IS THE NAME OF THE LORD EMMERTON OF 
WOOTTON FECIT 1787. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 30 in.) 



Chirch Bells of Bedfordshire. 133 

In 152 1 Isabella Low left, by her will, " to the bellys iiij</." * Captain John 
Brooks, R.N. [see 5th bell], who resided in this parish, expended a considerable 
sum of money upon the bells and the restoration of the church. He died in 
1793 at his brother's house in London, and was buried at Manningtree, in 
Essex. 

Prior to 1787 there were only five bells, see 5th bell. 

BIGGLESWADE. 

S. Andrew. 5 Bells. 

1. RVSSELL MADE ME 1721. 

(Diam. 30^ in., height 25^ in.) 

2. RVSSELL MADE VS 1721. 

(Diam. 31^ in., height 26 in.) 

3. THOMAS RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1721. 

(Diam. 34^ in., height 28 in.) 

4. THOMAS RVSSELL OF WOOTTON CAST THIS RING 1721. 

(Diam, 36 in., height 29 in.) 

5. JOHN LANCASTER AND GEORGE COOPER CHURCH- 

WARDENS. R : TAYLOR. S^" NEOTS. FECIT 1806. 
(Diam. 43 in., height 30 in.) 

BILLINGTON. 

? I Bei.l. 

The single bell here — which was reached with great difficulty — is without 
inscription or stamp of any kind : it is 23 inches in diameter. It formerly 
hung in a wooden belfry, which was removed about the year i860, and replaced 
by the present stone turret, which was brought from the old church of Linslade 
in Buckinghamshire. 

BLETSOE. 
S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

I. I MEAN TO MAKE IT UNDERSTOOD THAT TIIO' I'M LITTLE 
YET I'M GOOD. 
R : TAYLOR S'r NEOTS FECIT 17S6. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 24 in.) 

• Mr. Ilcrvcy's WilUy Ihmdicd, p. 19. 



134 1^^^ Inscriptions on the 

2. WHILST THUS WE JOIN IN CHEERFULL SOUND LET LOVE 

AND LOYALTY ABOUND. 
R. TAYLOR Si' NEOTS FECIT. 1786. 

(Diam. 34^ in., height 25^ in.) 

3. YE PEOPLE ALL THAT HEAR US RING BE FAITHFULL TO 

YOUR GOD AND KING. 
R : TAYLOR St NEOTS FECI APRL 4 1786. 
(Diam. 35 in., height 27 in.) 

4. I TO THE POOR AND NEEDY AM A FRIEND : FOR WHOSE 

RELIEF I CALL YOU TO ATTEND : J : COLES & N : KING 
C : WARDENS R : TAYLOR. FECIT : 1786. 
(Diam. 38 in., height 27I in.) 

5. I TO THE CHURCH THE LIVING CALL AND TO THE GRAVE 

DO SUMMON ALL. JOHN COLES & NICHOLAS KING 
CHURCHWARDENS. R. TAYLOR S^' NEOTS FECIT. 
(Diam. 42 in., height 30 in.) 



BLUNHAM. 

S. Edmund. 5 Bells. 

1. HONORABILI VIRO DOMINO HENRIC. GRAVE MARIQUE 

UXORI EJUS BENE PRECATUR ARTIFEX 1580 RECAST 
1752. J : SELLIS, M : TATMAN C.W. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 28| in.) 

2. BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH ME SEE THAT NEW- 

COME OF LEICESTER MADE MEE 1602. 
(Diam. 36 in., height 29 in.) 

3. [ + i] BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH ME SEE THAT 

NEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE MEE ANNO DOMINO 
1602. 

(Diam. 40 in., height, 30 in.) 

4 Msnm^^ :H(3:KUi :xii(j^:nio^ c^^HvI? 1609 
[U39]. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 2,2) in.) 



Church Bells of Bedfordshv'e. 135 

5. JOHN SELIJS, JUNER. AND WILLIAM TATMAN CHURCH- 
WARDENS 1740. 

JOHN SELLIS AND 

,c T. , CHURCHWARDENS 1741 

Matthew Tatman. JuNTCR. ^ '-' ^ '^ 

R. HANCOCKE RECTOR O O THOMAS RUSSELL OF WOOT- 

TON MADE ME. 

(Diam. 47 in., height 36 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 41 and 60 ; and for specimens of letters used on the 

4th bell, see p. 59. 

The Churchwardens' Accounts have a few entries relating to the Bells : — 

17 12 Paid for Bear at a (iinerall met' when we Put the 

Bell to mend 00 05 00 

1728 Paid at John Gillbarts for bear for the Ringers King 

Georg procleam"' 00 01 00 

Paid for bear at John Gilbarts for the Ringers at 

King georges Crownation 00 02 06 

1742 July 3 Paid M"" Rushill for Runing the gret Bell 12 3 9 

Paid Will. Tatman caring the licll 090 

1752 Paid for Runing the Bell 8 iS o 

Paid for Caring the Bell o 5 o 

Henry Grey, the sixth Earl of Kent of that name (see 1st bell), was lord of 

the manor, and occasionally resided here. He married Mary, daughter of Sir 

John (or Sir George) Cotton, and widow of Edward, Earl of Derby. Dying 

in 16 14-15, he was buried in an aisle of the church of Flitton in this county, 

erected by him in 1605, where is a monument, with effigies, to the memory of 

himself and his Countess. She, who died in 15 So, was, however, not buried 

there, but at Great Gaddesden. 

BOLNHURST. 

S. DuNSTAN. 4 Bells. 

1. Blank. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 21! in.) 

2, 3- Joll" % ^^^^ % ^^^^^^ $ «^c $ 15S7. 

(Diams. 2 9 J, and 32 \ in., heights 23 and 25 in.) 
4. PRAISE YE TPIE LORD AO 1618. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 26 in.) 



136 The Inscriptions on the 



BROMHAM. 
S. Owen [or S. Andrew]. 6 Bells. 

1. + THOMAS RVSSELL OF BIDDENHAM AND WILLIAM 

RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME IN 1739 O O. 
(Diam. 35 in., height 26 in.) 

2. R. TAYLOR & SONS FOUNDERS MDCCCXXVL 

(Diam. 39 in., height 28 in.) 

3. CHANDLER MADE ME 1686. GVLIELMVS TVCKER, VIC. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 29 in.) 

4. GIVEN BY THOMAS LORD TREVOR IN THE YEAR 1739. 

THOMAS RVSSELL OF BIDDENHAM AND WILLIAM 
RVSSELL OF WOOTON MADE ME. 
(Diam. 41 in., height 30 in.) 

5. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1859. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 31 in.) 

6. CHANDLER MADE ME 1686 L0D0VICV5 DYVE ARMIG. 

M D {tJiese two letters are incised.) 
(Diam. 43 in., height 35 in.) 
The family of Dyve (see 6th bell) acquired the estate at Bromham by 
marriage from that of Wylde. Sir John Dyve, who died in 1608, left one 
surviving child. Sir Lewis Dyve, who, dying in 1669, left three sons ; the eldest. 
Francis, died without issue in 1685, leaving his next brother, Lewis — whose 
name is on the tenor bell — his heir. He probably was a benefactor to, or was 
the donor of, the bell on his accession to the property. He died shortly after- 
wards, on the ist January, 1686-7, ^"d was buried at Bromham, where the 
tombstone records his decease : — 

Here lyeth interred y^ body of Cap'. Lewis Dyve y^ son of Sir Lewis 
Dyve who departed this life the j^' of Jan : 1686 at his house at 
Brumham in the County of Bedford, in y^ 46'^ year of his age. 

He left one son, Lewis, and two daughters. This Lewis, who appears from 
the Parish Register of Bromham to have been living there from 1700 to 1708, 
sold the family estate to Sir Thomas Trevor about the latter year. Sir Thomas 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 137 

Trevor was, in 171 1, created a peer by the title of Baron Trevor of Bromham, 
and, dying on the ist July, 1730, was succeeded by the donor of the 4th bell.* 

The Rev. William Tucker (see 3rd bell) was inducted 2nd July, 16S4, and 
resigned in i688.t 

The bells were re-opened, after being newly hung, on 14th December, 18S1. 

CADDINGTON. 

All Saints. 6 Bells. 

1. JOHN TAYLOR AND CO. FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 

MDCCCLXXXL 

(Diam. 26| in., weight 4 cwt. i qr. o lb.) 

2. Dan . Gazlev & John Aslin. Chapman & Mears of London Fecerunt 

1782. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 23 in.) 

3. John Adams & Rob^. Stockley. Chapman & Mears of London 

Fecerunt 1782. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 

4. John Smith Francis Smart Church Wardens 1809. 
Thomas Mears & Son of London Fecit. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 29 in.) 

5. Chapman & Mears of London Fecerunt 1782. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 27 in.) 

6. John Smith Francis Smart Church Wardens T Mears of London 

Fecit 18 19. 

(Diam. 38 in., height 30 in.) 

The treble bell was previously inscribed : — 

Tho\ Byrchman Jun^ Chapman & Mears of London Fecerunt 1782. 
On the bell-frame is cut : — 

O THOMAS O HALLSEY 

EDWARD AYDEL— CHVRCH WARDENE 

lOHN TOMES BELL HANGER. 

The Churchwardens* Accounts show that ^'87 was expended in 17S2, and 
;^3i 9^. (id. in 1809, about the bells. 

• See Gcnl. Mat;. XCI.X. (1S29), pp. 20, 124, 202, J2I. 
t Mr, llervcy's IVillcy IJunJrcJ, p. 39. 



1^8 The Inscriptions on the 

The bells here have been " clocked " — not rung — for some years past. Now 
the treble is recast it is hoped that a practice so dangerous to the bells will be 
abandoned. 

CAMPTON. 

All Saints. 4 Bells. 

1. R C. 1700. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 19 in.) 

2. Hanctl ^^yx\t Oca ^^pxx^ :m0&ts [ + 3 U 2 ]. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 23 in.) 

3. Hancfe .^ninrcB CDra ^xxi ^Illwbls [ + 4 u 2 ]. 

(Diam. 32 1 in., height 25 in.) 

4. :]p:mji^H©- wm^ ^i^o^xm^ 1603 [u 39]. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 27 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 43, 45 and 60. The initials on the ist are those of 
the founder — Richard Chandler. The capitals on the 2nd and 3rd are crowned. 
For specimens of the letters on the 4th, see p. 59. 

CARDINGTON. 

S. Mary. 8 Bells. 

1. GLORIA DEO IN EXCELCIS EX DONO SAMS WHITBREAD 

EDWD ARNOLD ST NEOTS AND LEICESTER FECIT. 
(Diam. 30 in., height 25 in.) 

2. EX DONO SAMS WHITBREAD ARMIG. JAN. XVIII. MDCCLXXV 

^TAT XXL 
EDWD ARNOLD ST NEOTS AND LEICESTER FECIT. 
(Diam. 31^ in., height 25 in.) 

3. Samuel WHITBREAD of Cardington Esq'* gave this bell Anno 1772 

Pack and Chapman of London Fecit. 6.2.0. 
(Diam. 32 in., height 25 in.) 

4. Whilst thus we Join in Cheerfull Sound may Love and Loyalty 

ABOUND. Pack and Chapman London Fecit 1772. 7.2.4. 
(Diam. 34 in., height 27 in.) 

5. Pe.\ce and Good Neighbourhood Pack and Chapman of London 

Fecit 1772. 9.1.18. 

(Diam. i^ in., height 28 in.) 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 139 

6. Ye Ringers All That Prize Your Health and Happiness Be Sober 

Merry Wise and You'll the same Possess Pack and Chapman 
OF London 1772. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 30 in.) 

7. In Wedlock all Ye Who Join With Hands Your Hearts Unite So 

Shall our Tunefull Tongues Combine to Laud the Nuptial 
Rite Pack and Chapman of London Fecit 1772. 13 . 3 . 13. 
(Diam. 43 in., height 31 in.) 

8. Rev"^ In" Pemberton Vicar Tho^ Pack and Richard Steven* C" 

Wardens Jn" Howard Esq" Jn" Nesbii-t Esq« Sam'- Whithread 
Esq" Jn-^ Peck Esq"^ Jon'^ Cranfield Tho^ Wilson Edmond and 
Mathew Morgan In^ Hickman Allen Brown Parish Clerk 
Pack and Chapman of London Fecit 1772. 20 . i . 12. 
(Diam. 46 in., height 36 in.) 

Prior to 1775, when the present ist and 2nd bells were given, there were six 
bells only. 

The Whitbread family settled here about the year 1650.* Mr. Samuel 
Whitbread, the donor of the 3rd bell — who was born at Cardington on the 
20th August, 1720 — purchased the manor of the representatives of George 
Blundell, Esq. He died on the nth June, 1796, at Bedwell Park, Hertford- 
shire : a fine monument is placed in the church here to his memory. He was 
succeeded by his only son, the Samuel Whitbread, Esq., who gave the 2nd 
bell, and probably the treble also, on attaining his majority in the year 1775. 

The Rev. John Pemberton — see tenor bell — died in 1776, and was buried 
here. 

Amongst the names of benefactors on that bell is that of John Howard, the 
philanthropist. He purchased an estate here after the death of his second 
wife in 1765, adjoining that of his relative, Mr. Whitbread. He, as is well- 
known, died at Cherson, from fever, in 1790. By his will he desired that " a 
plain slip of marble may be placed under that of my late wife, containing an 
inscription of my name and the year that I died, with this motto — Spcs 
mea Christus." In accordance with this wish, there apjiears at the base of a 
tablet in the church here to the memory of his wife and of his only son these 
words : — 

* Lyson's Mcj^- Brit. Vol. I. p. 65 ; sec also Gent. Mag. LXVI, ]i. 531, ami LXXI. p. 615. 



140 The Inscriptions on the 

JOHN HOWARD 

Died at Cherson in Russian Tartary 

January 21^', 1790 aged 64 

" Christ is my Hope." 

The house once belonging to and occupied by John Howard, still stands 

close to the church, and is now in the occupation of General Mills. 

CARLTON. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

I. w^M.'^B^ WMm :Ei©:i3i:E)er 1602 [ u 39-] 

(Diam. 29 in., height 24 in.) 
2. JOHN TAYLER & Co FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 1868. 
W. S. ESCOTT RECTOR I. EYLES H :>IEEP, C.W. GLORY 
TO GOD COME UNTO ME. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 23 in.) 

3- [+32 ]• .^ mt^m^wMm [u zz\. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 

4- 3Ett X3Q,uHt0 J5.nnt!5 ^cs^nef ©"ampana Jxjftannla [ n 23 

U 24 ] O [ D 22 ]. 

(Diam. 38 in., height 30 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 60, 56, 53 and 54. For specimens of letters used on 
the ist bell, see p. 59. The capitals of the inscription on the 4th bell are 
crowned. 

The Rev. W. S. Escott was instituted in 186 1, resigned in 1876. 

CHALGRAVE. 

All Saints. 3 Bells. 

1. Hancfc :^Bi:0la5 CE)ra ^Prrr ^OiwMs [Q 23.] ©[022]. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 30 in.) 

2. [ + 54.] GOD [D 58] SAVE [DSS] OVR [058] KI>1G 1623. 

(Diam. 37 in., height 30 in.) 

3. WILLIAM EMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1775. 

William Willison ) ^ 

William Shaw | Churchwardens. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 34 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 53, 75 and 76. The capitals of the inscription on the 
ist bell are crowned. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 4 1 

These bells are in a sad state of disorder ; the clapper of the tenor bell is 
out, and now (1881) lies at the back door of the cottage of the woman who 
cleans the church. The bell-chamber, and indeed the whole tower, is in a very 
dilapidated condition ; the bells have not been rung — only tolled by " clock- 
ing " — for some time, and rubbings of the inscriptions were obtained witli 
great difficulty and some danger. 

CHELLINGTON. 

S. Nicholas. 4 Bells. 

1. W. ATTON & SON MADE > ME -> 1654. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 23 in.) 

2. [+56] PRAY . E YE THE LORD 1630. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 24 in.) 

3. W ATTON [+52] MADE [+ 52] MEE [+52] 1611 [+ 52] 

ROBERT ATTON. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 24 in.) 

4. .Sancfa J^attrina Ora ;f>v0 ^>ubta I + O 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 25 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 75 and 73. 

These bells are difficult and dangerous of access ; the floor of the bell- 
chamber is all gone. 

CLAPHAM. 

5. Thomas A Becket. 5 Bf.i.ls. 

1. [+ 59] GOD [n6o] SAVE THY [n<5o] CHURCH 1607. 

(Diam. 24^ in., height 18 in.) 

2. [+ 59 ] GOD [ n 60] SAVE THY [ Q 60] OHAHD 1607 [.? Q'''^"'"]- 

(Diam. 26^ in., height 2ii in.) 

3. Jolitt $ fetcr $ matic $ ntc $ 

(Diam. 27^ in., height 20^ in.) 

4. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1685. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 24 in.) 

5. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1662. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 24 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 76 and 77. 



142 The Inscriptions on the 

These bells — which were rehung in 1861 — are not rung, in consequence of 
the roof of the tower being in a weak state ; repairs have lately been effected, 
but more remains to be done. 

CLIFTON. 

All Saints. 8 Bells and 7 for chimes. 

I, 2, 3, 5. ROBERT STAINBANK FOUNDER LONDON 1867. 

(Diams. 23^, 24, 26, 30^ in.) 
4. T. Mears of London Fecit 1831. 

(Diam. 28 in.) 

6. :oTr5i?[n38]^:Bi©-:Ei[n38]<3T©mH©-ii^ [038] 

j:m^ [038] xii©-Tzsf^3E:K. [038] 159° ^^\o-^ 

3^-S[U39]- 

(Diam. 32^^- in., height 25 in.) 

7. :i^Q>wM [038] ^j^^s [038] toe-j>xj>x [038] OTr:Ei 

[038] ©-^^me" [038] 1590 :e.© [U39]- 

(Diam. 35^- in., height 27 in.) 

8. \yy^yh:sh%m^^]ix [d 38] 'vaMm^s> [□ 38] xii,^:e)©- 

[038] T^B [038] %^t [038] M-^Et^SKB [038] 

:xs)CE)xaa©-';5ie-[U39]- 

(Diam. 38 in., height 29J in.) 
Additional Bells for Chirnes : — 
1-4. Mears & Stainbank, Founders, London, 1869. 
(Diams. 17!, 18, 19, 20 in.) 

5, 6. Hf0'B€KC s€m3mBmmM 2£0BBt>€m ara^EBOB 1867. 

(Diams. 2oh, 2iiin.) 
7. In memoriam patris optimi, carissimi, hanc campanam, cvm decem 
ALUS posvit Henricvs Hvgo Miles Mears & Stainbank 
founders, London, i86g. 

(Diam. 29I in.) 
For Stamps, see p. 60 ; and for specimens of letters on 6th, 7th and 8th 
bells, see p. 59. 

Prior to 1867 there were five bells only. Before two of those were recast 
the whole were, without doubt, of one date — 1590 — and bore inscriptions which, 
read consecutively, gave a jingling rhyme of five lines, of which the last three 
are now on the sixth, seventh and eighth bells. These three are fine bells, and 
good specimens of the work done at that period by the Watts family. The 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 143 

letters used in the inscriptions are of the type engraved, as Figs, 34-37 on 
p. 59 ; the use, as usual, of the small black letter tu in place of a large Ciothic 
capital, which those founders did not possess, will be observed, and the letter S 
is reversed. The inscription on the tenor is incomplete, the date of the year 
being wanting. 

In the year 1867 one of the five bells was recast, and five additional bells 
were added — one to the ring, thus making it a ring of six bells, and four were 
used for the " Cambridge Quarters," which were, in that year, added to the 
clock. In 1869 the five additional smaller bells were added, thus making in 
all fifteen bells ; upon the ten least of these a chiming apparatus with two 
barrels, erected by Messrs. Gillett and Bland, of Croydon, played fourteen 
tunes — seven by each barrel. Two of these smaller bells were subsequently 
fitted with wheels, etc., and added to the ringable bells, so giving a ring of 
eight bells as at present, and as described above. The chimes are not now 
(1881) in working order. The cost of these extensive works in connection 
with the bells was defrayed by the present Rector, and his relatives, in memory 
of his father, the late Henry Miles, Esq., of Downfield, Herefordshire, who 
was patron of the living, and by whom the church was restored and handsome 
school buildings erected. 

CLOPHILL. 
S. Mary. 2 Beli.s. 

1. EMMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1774. 

Thomas Dunton I ^ ^ ^ /^ /^ 

c r^ \ Churchwardens O O O O 

Samuel Taylor J v> v> w w 

(Diam. 34 in , height 25 in.) 

2. [+ 54] GOD [DSS] SAVE [058] OVR [QsS] KIZG 1623. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 29 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 75 and 76. 

These bells were removed from the old church on the hill, where were three 
bells. 

CLOPHILL [ancient church]. 
S. Mary. i Belu 

There were three bells liere : two were removed to the new church when it 
was erected, and one remains here, and is used as a funeral bell : it was the 
treble, or smallest of the three, and is simply inscribed : — 

R C R C 

The initials, most probably, of the founder, Richard Chandler. 



(Diam. 30^ in., height 22^ in.) 



144 The Inscriptions on the 

COLMWORTH. 
S. Denis. 4 Bells. 

1. R C 4071. 

2. R . C 1704. 

(Diam. 33I in., height 25I in.) 

3 [+ 55 ] GOD SAVE OVR KING [I K 53] 1635. 
(Diam. 35 in., height 27 in.) 

4. [+ 56] PRAYE YE THE LORD [I K 53] 1635. 
(Diam. 38 in., height 29^ in.) 

For Stamps, see p. 75. 

The initials on the ist and 2nd bells are those of the founder, Richard 
Chandler. James Keene, the founder of the 4th bell, appears to have omitted 
the letter S from the first word of the inscription, which he, doubtless, intended 
to have been " Prayse." 

COPLE. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

1. GOD SAVE OVR KING 1628. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 23 in.) 

2. Blank. 

(Diam. 29I in., height 24 in.) 

3. BELIEVE BE WISE AND RETURN REMEMBER TO DIE : I : 

EAYRE S'. NEOTS FECIT 1762. 

(Diam. 2,Z i^^o height 26^ in.) 

4- [+15] ^HtiticUs XHesuria ^omcn (3"ampana XHuJiactga 

[U 14 U 16]. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 27 in.) 

5- [+ 55] GOD SAVE OVR KING 1624. 

(Diam. 36^- in., height 28 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 50 and 75. 

As to the inscription on the 4th bell, the Rev. J. T. Fowler, F.S.A., suggests 
that as it stands it may be, " Michael's bell is '^my) name, (I am) true in (my) 
measures " (dimensions or tone) ; but that something seems to be missing, 
and " Fydelis " clearly ought to rhyme with " Mykaelis." 



> Churchwardens. 



CJmrch Bells of Ihdfordshire. 145 

CRANFIELD. 

SS. Peter and Paui- 5 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

1. [064] JEFERY [D 64] ALDRIGE [Q*] THOMAS [ D 64 ] 

FEILD [D 64] CHVRCHWARDENS [D 64] W H [D*] 

JOHN [064] HODSON [064] MADE [Q*] ME [064] 

1663 [064]. 

Royal X) Arms. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 26 in. *Fleur-de-lys). 

2, 3. MEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME A" 161 1. 

(Diams. 36, 39 in., heights 26^, 28 in. Cannons ofi'3rd.) 

4. T. Mears of London Fecit 1833. 
William Faldor 
John Langston 

(Diam. 42^ in., height, 29I in.) 

5. TAYLOR . FOUNDER . S^ NEOTS 1805 GEO. DAVIES RECTOR. 

JAMES OSBORNE & W FALDOR CHURCHWARDENS. 
(Diam. 47 in., height 33^ in.) 
Pricsf s Bell :— 

Blank. 

(Diam. 15! in., height 10 in.) 
For Stamps, see p. 81. 

The Inventory of Goods belonging to this parish in 1552 is extant, but it is 
much mutilated ; it, however, shows the following as to the bells then 
existing : — 

Church iiij belles & a sane' bell the wey 

second xjc. thyrd xvc the fourth x Church .... 

of latten w' iij small belles ij crosses of 

lattcn etc.* 
The Rev. George Davies, B.D. (see tenor), died 22nd August, 1S09, aged 
Co years. 

The bells here are good and in good condition. 

DEAN. 

All Saints. 3 Bells. 

I. :Bix3c©:Ei \yi]^m^&B xrii^x^e- jcne" 1603 [ u 39 \ 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 24 in.) 



♦ Latid Revemu Records. Bundle 1392, File 2. P. R. Off. 



1 46 7 he Inscriptions on the 

2. [+ 59] T DOLTON C W TOBIE P10RR12 CA2T ME 1677. 
(Diam. 35 in., height 28 in.) 

3 m.i^<m:^^:e^^ :i&:^jBLmi:t^ i2>^Qx:E\.Bm 1610. 

(Diam. 39^ in., height 30^ in.) 
P'or Stamps, see pp. 60 and 76. 

The inscriptions on the ist and 3rd bells are in the fine Gothic capitals 
used by the Watts family ; specimens are engraved on p. 59. 
The tower is now in a dangerous condition. 

DUNSTABLE. 

SS. Peter and Paul. 8 Bells. 

1. Altho I AM Both Light & Small I will be Heard Above You 

All. Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 
(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 

2. If you have a Judicious Ear You'll own my Voice is Sweet and 

Clear Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 
(Diam. 31I in., height 24 in.) 

3. Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 25 in.) 

4. Whilst thus we Join in Chearfull Sound Let Love & Loyalty 

abound Pack tSj Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 
(Diam. 36J in., height 26 in.) 

5. Peace & Good Neighbourhood. Pack & Chapman of London 

Fecit 1776. 

(Diam. 37 1 in., height 28^ in., cracked.) 

6. Music is Medicine to the Mind Pack &: Chapman of London 

Fecit 1776. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 30 in., cracked.) 

7. In Wedlock Bands All ye who Join with Hands Your Hearts 

Unite So shall our Tunefull Tongues Combine To Laud 
the Nuptial Rite Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 
(Diam. 43^ in., height 32^ in., cracked.) 

8. William Coles & William Eames Church Wardens Pack & 

Chapman of London Fecit 1776. 
(Diam. 51 in., height 35 in., weight 20 cwt. 2 qr. 2 lb., cracked.) 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 147 

Pi test's Bell:— 

[+31] Msyr^ ^;^MSX\%M. <s^xm.^1lM. ^pj^e-jiiJX-. 

For Stamp on Priest's bell, see p. 56. 

From the Chronicle of Dunstable, commenced by Prior Richard de Morins 
in 1202, and carried on by his successors, we learn that in 1277 " Magister 
Michael" gave to this Priory Church "duas campanas grandiores," and that 
Henry his son gave another on the death of his father ; and further, under the 
year 1349, "Tempore pestilential parochiani de Dunstable fecerunt sibi unam 
campanam et vocabant earn Mariam et prior Rogerus commodavit plumbum 
ad cooperiendum campanile." 

Prior to 1776, when the present ring was cast, there were five heavy bells. 

The total weight of the present bells (exclusive of the Sanctus bell) is : — 

85 cwt. 3 qr. 23 lb. 
Clappers 2 o 9 

Total 88 cwt. o qr. 4 lb.* 
There is a tradition here, that at the consecration of the ancient Sanctus 
bell still hanging, "there was a gorgeous ceremonial at which Matilda, 
daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland, acted as Godmother." Henry I. 
married Matilda, the daughter of Malcolm HI., King of Scotland. She 
had, as is well known, been educated at the Abbey of Ramsey, in Huntingdon- 
shire, which was then one of the principal Religious Houses in England. 
Henry was a great benefactor to Dunstable : he not only erected and richly 
endowed the Priory there — the nave of which now forms the parish church — 
but also built the palace of Kingsbury, where he and his wife Matilda would 
occasionally reside, and which afterwards (in 1204) became the property of the 
Prior and Convent. There is, therefore, nothing improbable in the tradition 
as to the benediction of the small Sanctus-bell, which may well have escaped 
the destruction or recasting of the larger bells, and so have come down un- 
injured to our time. But why is Matilda spoken of under her maiden name, 
and not as Queen of Henry I. ? 

DUNTON. 

S. Mary. 2 Bells. 

u THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1S39. 
(Diam. 73 A in., height 25 in.) 



* Ex infor. John Harris, Esq., C.E. 



1/1.8 The Insc7'iptions on tJic 

2. [+ 46] WHO SO EVER DOETH VS SEE WILLIAM HAVLSEY 
MAD ME 1622, 

(Diam. 35 in., height 28 in.) 
For Stamp, see p. 68, 
The second bell is not now used. 

EATON BRAY. 

S. Mary. 5 Bells & Small Bell. 

1. EDWARD HALL MADE ME 1740. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 28 in.) 

2. KB TH EB EC WW 1656. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 28 in.) 

3. GEORGE CHANDLER MADE ME 1705. 

(Diam. 37 in., height 31 in.) 

4. WLM WHITTMORE FOR RICHARD BURR — AND — THO 

— HAWARD— EB— EC— 1656. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 30 in.) 

5. J. BRIANT HARTFORD FECIT 1790 W. PEARSON MILLER.. .R, 

GADSDEN SENR R. ASHWELL C. WARDENS H. MORRISS 
R. GADSDEN JUN^ OVERSEERS. 

(Diam. 43 in., height 33 in.) 
Small Bell :— 

1737- 
(Diam. 19 in., height 18 in.) 

These bells (1881) have been silent for some years ; they are all sound, but 
the wheels and ropes are in disorder. The nave of the church is being 
restored, but the tower is in a dilapidated condition. 

The small bell, upon which the clock formerly struck, is said to have once 
hung at the Manor House ; it now hangs high up close to the window in the 
bell-chamber. 

EATON SOCON. 

S. Mary. 6 Bells. 

I. OMNIA FIANT AD GLORIAM DEI JOS : EAYRE ST NEOTS 
FECIT ANNO : DOM : 1740. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 24 in.) 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 149 

2. MILES .-. GRAVE .;. MADE .;. ME . • . 1654. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 24 in.) 

3. WILLIAM DOBSON FOUNDER 1832 .-. JOHN ROBT. WALKER 

CHURCHWARDEN. 

(Diam. 37^ in., height 27^ in.) 

4- [ + 47] H©X3^ [D 49] xioHii [n'49] ^-^J^Bj^J^M^ 

(Diam. 40 in., height 30 in.) 

5. J BASSET VICAR J BELL J COANN THOMAS NEWMAN 

MADE MEE 1705. 

(Diam. 43 in., height 31 in.) 

6. + RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1 741 ^ O O O O O -•- 

(Diam. 47A in., height 35 in.) 
For Stamps, see p. 69. 
In 1552 there were here " V belles in y* stepyll and a sanctus bell." * 

EDWORTH. 

S. George. 3 T^i-'-i-s. 

1. [+46] HEE THAT WIL BE MERI LET HIM BE MERI IN 

THE LORDE 1623. 

(Diam. 31^ in., height 24} in.) 

2. HEWCOME MADE ME A^ 1615. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 26^ in.) 
3- [+ 25 ] Hiinrfa Xliariii Or.i X>r«J :r>olti9 [+27. U 26 ]. 
(Diam. 36^ in., height, 28^ in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 68 and 54. 

EGGINTON. 

S. Michael (?). 2 Bells. 

1. GOD SAVE OVR KING 1622. 

(Diam. 18^ in.) 

2. AMTHO^IY CHAMDLER MADE ME 1677. 

(Diam. 22 in.) 
These are good bells, and the wheels are in good order, but the interior of 



Laud Revenue Records, IJuiullc 1392, File 2, P. R. Off. 



1 50 The Inscriptions on tJie 

the cage is in a very dilapidated condition, and the floors require renewing. 
These defects it is hoped to remedy shortly. 

ELSTOW. 

SS. Mary and Helena. -5 Bells. 

I. CHRISTOPHER • .' • GRAIE • .* • MADE •."• ME • .'• 1655. 
(Diam. 27 in., height 22 in.) 

(Diam. 30 in., height 23 in.) 

3. GOD SAVE THE KING 1631. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 26 in.) 

4. [+63] ABCDE>iG[n*] VBCDE[n*]-agXAAV[n*]- 

(Diam. 35 in., height 28 in. * Fleur-de-lys.) 

5. [+ I ] BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH ME SEE THAT 

NEWCOMBE OF LEICESTER MADE ME. 1604. 
(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 60, 80 and 41. 

The bells here hang in a campanile detached from the church. 

The letters on the 2nd bell are of the type of those engraved on p. 59. 

The 4th bell is the one pointed out as " Bunyan's bell." The writer of the 
great allegory, who lived in this parish, was, as is well-known, an enthusiastic 
ringer, until, in the strong revulsion from a careless life to a religious one, his 
then over-sensitive mind caused him to give up a practice which he doubtless 
felt that he loved too well. Even then the sound of the bells drew him to the 
belfry, although he no longer handled a rope. " He so hankered," writes 
Southey, "after his old amusement, that, though he did not pull a rope him- 
self, he would go and look at the ringers, not without a secret feeling that to 
do so was unbecoming the religious character he professed ; a fear came upon 
him that one of the bells might fall. To secure himself against such an acci- 
dent he stood under a beam that lay athwart the steeple from side to side ; 
but, his apprehensions being once awakened, he then considered that the bell 
might fall with a swing, hit the wall first, rebound, and so strike him in its 
descent. Upon this he retired to the steeple door, thinking himself safe 
enough there ; for if the bell should fall he might slip out. Farther than the 
door he did not venture, nor did he long continue to think himself safe enough 
there, lor the next fancy that possessed him was that the steeple itself might 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 5 1 

fall, and this so much disturbed him that he dared not stand at the door any 
longer, but fled for fear the tower should come down upon him." 

The intense love of bells and their music was, however, so engrained into 
his nature, that it finds expression more than once in his " Pilgrim's Progress," 
for as his pilgrims approached the Heavenly City, " they thought they heard 
all the bells therein to ring to welcome them thereto." And when they had 
entered, " then I heard, in my dream, that all the bells in the City rang again 
for joy." 

" Well," (writes a recent visitor to Elstow) " the bell is here still, and the 
beam is here, and the tower; but the rugged, wistful face is gone. Here, 
nevertheless, his memory abides still, and many a fancy summons him up into 
a bodily presence again, and to many a listener the musical and melancholy 
peal has an added pathos from the fact that it still includes John Bunyan's bell." 

EVERSHOLT. 

S. John Baptist. 6 Bells. 

I, 2, 4. MILES GRAIE •.'• FECIT • .' • 1638. 

(Diams. 29^, 31^, 37 in., heights 23, 26, 28! in.) 
3. EMMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 17S9. 

John Daniel ) ^ 

^ ^ \ Churchwardens. 

\\ iLLiAM French ) 

(Diam, 34^ in., height 26 in.) 

5. EMERTON OF WOOTTON CAST THIS PICAL T. WHITi: . 

I. PURSER. CHURCH WARDENS. I TO THE CHURCH 

THE LIVING CALL AND TO THE (]RA\1': I SUMMON 

ALL 1786. 

(Diam. 41 i in., height 28 in.) 

6. JOHN TAYLOR & Co FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 1S82. 

(Diam. 45^ in., weight 17 cwt. i qr. 16 lb.) 
In 1552 there were here : — 

Item ij sacrynge belles 
Item in the steapuU iiij belles.* 
The tenor bell was previously inscribed : — 

Thomas Rvssell of Wootton made me 1727. 
(Diam. 44 in., height 35 in.) 



* Land Revenue Kec\>rds. Bundle 139.1. Iilc2. I*. K.UIf. 



152 The Inscriptions on the 

The statement of the founder of the 5th bell was rather wide of the truth. 

These bells, which are in good condition and well cared for, form a 
very musical ring, and are considered by the people here as second only to 
those at Crawley. There is a tradition that Handel was once driving in the 
neighbourhood when these bells were ringing, and that he was so charmed with 
the beauty of the ring that he ordered his coachman to stop for several 
minutes in order that he might listen more attentively and enjoy the music 
more thoroughly. 

A MS. book headed "Particulars of Eversholt," 1802, after noting that a 
plan of Eversholt was made on parchment in the year 1764, with a folio 
Reference Book, gives a corrected list of owners, tenants, etc., amongst which 
is : — Bell Rope acre, containing oa. 2r. 8p., then occupied by William Axam, 
under the Rev. John Sandys, Incumbent 

EYEWORTH. 

All Saints. 2 Bells. 

1. [+6] jS'aucfa X3Q,ar0ar£fa ©ra ^rw ;i?i06t5 [U n]. 

(Diam, 32I in., height 24 in.) 

2. MILONEM GRAVE ME FECIT + 1632. 

(Diam. 34I in., height 27 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 46 and 49. 
There is a frame here for a third bell which has, apparently, been removed. 

FANDISH. 

S. Michael and all Angels. 3 Bells. 

1. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1667. 

(Diam. 22^ in.) 

2. [IK 53 D 58 D 58058] 1625. 

(Diam. 25 in.) 

3. (ST-^xn m^mi -^Jsa^ ^^iM. 1597 [u 39]- 

(Diam. 28 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 75, 76 and 60. 

In 1552 there were here "thre belles in the stepuU and a sanctus belle."* 
There was, until recently, a small bell, without inscription, unhung and 
standing in the church : it has been sold. 

* Exck. Q. A'. CliMxh Goods Bedjordshirc \. P. R. Off. 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 153 

FELMERSHAM. 
S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1. IH'8 NAZARENVS : REX : IVDEORUM : FILI : DEI : MISERERE 

MEI 1634 [U39]- 

(Diam. 35 in., height 29 in.) 

2, 4. NEWCOMBE MADE MEE 16 17. 

(Diams. 36} and 43 in., heights 28 and ^tl i"-) 
3 JOHN HUTCHINSON VICAR. WILLIAM BITHREY. ROBART 
LORD . CHURCHWARDENS. EAYRE S^ NEOTS FECIT 
1766. 

(Diam. 39^^ in., height 29 in.) 
5. CUM UOCO UENITE. JOHN HUTCHINSON VICAR WILLIAM 
BITHREY ROBART LORD CHURCHWARDENS. JOSEPH 
EAYRE, S^ NEOTS FECIT 1766. 

(Diam. 47^ in., height 35^ in.) 
r'or stamp and lettering on the ist bell, see pp. 60 and 63. 
The Rev. John Hutchinson (see 3rd and 5th bells) was presented to this 
living in January, 1756, and was buried here 15th July, 1792. 

FLITTON. 

S. John Baptist. 5 Bells. 

1-5. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 16S7. 
(i. Diam. 25^ in., height 22} in. 

2. Diam. 27 in., height 22 i in. 

3. Diam. 28^ in., height 23 in. 

4. Diam. 31 in., height 25 in. 

5. Diam. 35 in., height 26^ in.) 

FLITWICK. 
SS. Peter and Paul. 5 Bells. 

1. GOD SAVE OUR :HING 1637 RECAST BY JOHN T.VYLOR & 

Co. 1867. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 22 in.) 

2. jjoljauucs CSriarlie \\a\\t fcdt (STanuLinani 1608. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 23 in.) 
X 



1 54 The Insc7'iptions on the 

3- [+55] <^C)D SAVE OVR KING 1631 [I K 53]. 
(Diam. 34 in., height 25 in.) 

4. MILES •!• GRAYE MADE ME 1653. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 25 in.) 

5. MILES •!• GRAYE •'. • MADE •.*• ME 1654. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 29 in.) 
For Stamps, see p. 75. 
These are good bells, kept in excellent order. 

GGLDINGTON. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

I. m-^mi m-^mi .^:i^:e) :i^mers^ 1600 [u 39 ]• 

(Diam. 28 in., height 25 in.) 

2. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE MEE 1696. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 26 in.) 

3. NEWCOMBE MADE ME 161 7. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 28 in.) 

4. ©<2):e) BJ^:i^m WM^ (^^^mm^^^ 1600 [u 39]- 

(Diam. 33 in., height 31^ in.) 
For Stamp and form of letters on the ist and 4th bells, see pp. 59 and 60. 

GRAVENHURST UPPER. 

S. Giles. 5 Bells. 

I, 2, 4. M G. 

(Diams. 28, 30J, 35I in., heights 22, 23, 28 in.) 
3. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME i69e. 
(Diam. 32 in., height 24 in.) 
5. O O JOSEPH CRAWLEY CHURCHWARDEN O O WILLIAM 
EMERTON OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1772. 
(Diam. 39 in., height 30 in.) 
The initials M. G. are probably those of Miles Graye the founder. 

GRAVENHURST LOWER. 

S. Mary [?]. i Bell. 

I. THE LORD BE WITH US LESTER & PACK OF LONDON 
FECIT 1758. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 22 in.) 



Church Dells of BedfordsJiire. 1 55 

HARLINGTON. 

S. Mary, 5 Bells. 

I. [n38]<3rooxii[n38]©rooxii [n38]i5.:mx>[D38] 
:]g>'m,^:Ee" [U39]. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 2t^\ in.) 

2. JOHN TAPSTER CHVRCHWARDEN 17 15 THOMAS RVSaELL 

MADE ME. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 24} in., cracked, unhung,) 

3. CHANDLER MADE ME 1697, 

(Diam. 35 i in., height 26 in.) 

4. In XHwIiis J5-nnts X^csmtct dampana J0r|anni0 [+3 + 4]. 

(Diam. 38^ in., height 29^ in.) 

5. iiT^Ljix.-B: J JiXH [ □ 38 f \^J7LW-^^S> [ D 38 J XIli3.I0)3 

WM%B X33:i^j£x [U 39]- 

(Diam. 40^ in., height 32 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 60 and 45, and for specimens of letters on the ist and 
5th, see p. 59. The letter S is reversed on the latter bell. 

From the Inventory of Church Goods belonging to this church, taken on the 
2nd of September, 1552, we learn there were then : — 

" Item in y*= stepuU of y^ said churche v belles and a saunce bell. The first 
bell in wydenes ij foote and vij ynches in depthe ij foote and one ynche the 
second bell ij foote and viij ynches in depthe ij foote the thurde bell ij fote 
wyde and ij foote depth y^ fowerth bell iij foote wyde and ij fote depth and a 
di. y^ v"^ bell iij foote and di. wyde ij foote and di. depe the saunce bell wyde 
xj ynche and ix ynche depe."* 

The 2nd bell was cracked about twenty years ago, but she was rung with the 
others for some years afterwards : she now rests upon a wooden block ; two of 
the bell-ropes hang close to the wall ; this would have to be remedied should 
change-ringing be attempted. With these exceptions the bells — which are 
excellent in tone — are in good order. 

HARROLD. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

I. THOMAS KNIGHT AND WILLIAM WOOTTON C : W : lOS : 
EAYRE S^ NEOTS 1756. 

(Diam. 30J, in., height 26 in.) 

* Land Revenue Records. Bundle 1392, File 2, P. R. Off. 



156 The Inscriptions on the 

2. csTTscxii ©"TiixTi j^:m:f> y^ixi^^y^^ 1603 [u 39]- 

(Diam. 32 in., height 25 in.) 

3. :]p>ji,^3EB©' wM^ j>xo:ei)E)©- i6oe [u 39]- 

(Diam. 34 in., height 26^ in.) 

4. JOHN :;': HODSON .'■: OF :•■; LANDON : ; : MADE ;•; 

ME .;; i6Se. 

(Diam. 37I in., height 27^ in.) 

5. CHAMDLER MADE ME 1652 [Dsi]. 

(Diam. 39^ in., height 30 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 60 and 71, and for specimens of letters on the 2nd and 
3rd bells, see p. 59. 

HATLEY COCKAYNE. * . 

S. John Baptist. 2 Bells. 

1. R. TAYLOR. S^ NEOTS FECIT 1786. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 24 in.) 

2. RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1725. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 25 in.) 

HAWNES. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

1. [+ 54] GOD [DsS] SAVE [D 58] OVR [DsS] KING 1627. 

(Diam. 25^ in., height 20 in.) 

2. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1662. 

(Diam. 27 in., height 21 in.) 

(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 
4. OG TT AV A\ 1653. 

(Diam. 31^ in., height 26 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 75 and 76. 

The inscription on the 3rd bell is reversed on the bell : it is " Sum campana 
Marie Matris Messie pie." The cross in the centre is apparently quite plain 
in character, but the bells being very difficult of access — there is no floor to 
the bell-chamber — it was not possible to take a " squeeze." 



Church BelL of Bedfordshire. i 5 7 



HEATH AND REACH. 

S. Leonard. i Bki.i. 

1. RICHARD WIGE GENT MAN ONER OF ME 1695 

a7id incised on the top of the bell, 
H 
TOMAS SEPHEZS. 
(Diam. 20 in., height 18 in.) 

There is no stay or slider to this bell. 

Heath was formerly a parochial chapelry attached to Leighton, and, until 
the year 1850, was without a burial ground, the dead being interred at Leighton. 
There, too, marriages and baptisms were formerly registered. The family of 
Wigge had for some years been connected with this neighbourhood when the 
above small bell was cast. In 1639 William Wigge, yeoman, purchased 
Stewkley Grange with its manor and appurtenances (it formerly belonged to 
Woburn Abbey). The family resided there, and occupied the farm for several 
generations, but eventually — in 1760 — sold the property to a Mr. Ward. 
Members of the Wigge family were also connected with Mentmore. Another 
branch resided at Heath. The Registers at Leighton record the marriage of 
John Franks and Elizabeth Wigg, of Heath, on the 13th of May, 1703. She 
was a daughter of the " Richard Wige " whose name is on the above bell. 
The Registers give no information about him : possibly the bell belonged 
originally to his house as a dinner-bell — in which case he would be its " oner " 
— and was afterwards given by him to the chapel, where are two pewter alms 
dishes, dated 1698, which may also have been his gift at the same time. 



HEN LOW. 

S. Mary. 5 Bki.i.s. 

1. MILES •". • GRAVE • ". • MADE •". • ME • .'• 1630. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 25 in.) 

2. [ + 55] GOD SAVE OVR KING 162S. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 26 in.) 

3. MILES • ! • GRAIE • '. • FiXlT • '. • 1638. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 27 in.) 



158 The Inscriptio7is on the 

4. -<- THOMAS TRUSTRAM CHURCHWARDEN -t- CVM VOCO 

VENITE H- J : EAYRE : S'l". NEOTS -h -^ 1750 h- 
(Diam. 39 in., height 29 in.) 

5. 1638 RECAST 1877 W. HOLESGROVE VICAR. 

CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON. 
(Diam. 43 in.) 
For Stamp, see p. 75. 
The tenor bell was previously inscribed : — 

Miles Graie fecit 1638 G E • '. • G C. 
(Diam. 42 in., height 34^ in.) 

HIGHAM GOBION. 
S. Margaret. i Bell 

I. T. Mears of London Fecit 1829. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 24 in.) 

HOCKLIFFE. 

S. Nicolas. 3 Bells. 

1. "^0X J5.0^slitti S>^mi Jn Jiltrc :E)ci [ + 6 U 7 D 8 ]. 

(Diam. 29I- in.) 

2. [ + 6 ] ^anrfB g[?I|mtta ©ra ^Xi^ :i?l0lits [ Q 8 U 7 ]• 

(Diam. 30 in.) 

3. [ + 6 ] Hancfa XHargreia Ora ^x^ :ii),tfbis [ U 7 ]• 

(Diam. 31 J in.) 

For Stamps, see p. 46. 

This is the only complete ring of ancient bells in Bedfordshire. They are 
all of the same date and from the same foundry. 

The ejaculatory prayers on the beautiful cross on these bells are frequently 
found on memorial brasses of pre-Reformation date. An example formerly 
existed in Luton Church in this county, on a brass to the memory of John 
Ackworth, who died 17th March, 15 13, where the closing words of a quaint 
inscription were ; — 

Jesu mercye : Lady helpe : Mercy Jesu. 

Since the above was written the ring here has been increased to four bells 



Chtirch Bells of Bcdfordshii'e. 159 

by the addition of a new treble, cast by Messrs. J. Taylor and Co., of Lough- 
borough, It is inscribed : — 

DEUM LAUDO; VIVOS VOCO ; MORTUOS PLANGO. 

F. H. GRAY, A.M., RECTOR. 
G. E. GILLMAN ET JACOBUS E INWARDS ECCLESL^i CUS- 
TODES 1883. 

(Weight 4 cwt. 3 qr. 19 lb.) 

HOLWELL. 

S. Peter. 2 Bells. 

I, 2. REVD C. D. RADCLIFFE RECTOR. THOS- ARMSTRONG 
CHURCH WARDEN. THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER 
LONDON 1 84 1. 

HOUGHTON CONQUEST. 

All Saints [but query S. James]. 6 Bells. 

1. DOMINE MEMENTO MEL T. MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 

1840. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 25 in.) 

2. PATER IN MANUS TUAS COMMENDO SPIRITUM MEUM 

T. MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1840. 
(Diam. 34 in., height 26^ in.) 

3. GLORIA PATRI FILIO ET SPIRITUI SANCTO T. MEARS 

FOUNDER LONDON 1840. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 27 in.) 

4. OMNIA FIANT AD GLORIAM DEI T. MEARS FOUNDER 

LONDON 1840. 

(Diam. 38 in., height 28 in.) 

5. GURGITE ET AUDITE VOCEM MEAM. REV. HENRY J 

ROSE RECTOR. 

Titus Cherry ) „ o 

^ V Churchwardens 1 841. 

Joseph Chappell ) 

(Diam. 41 i in., height 29 in.) 

6. I H S NAZARENUS REX JUDEORUM FILI DEI MISERERE 

MEL T. MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1S40. 
(Diam. 43 in., height 30 in.) 



i6o The Inscriptions on the 

Probably, prior to 1626, there were only four bells, for the Parish Register 
tells us that " Thomas Archer, person of Houghton, gave Ten pounds to the 
making of a ffyft Bell in Anno Dom. 1626, Aprilis primo." 

"The seuerall inscriptions," says another entry in the Register, "upon the 
five old bells were as follovveth : — 

1. Sr. Edmund Conquest, Sr. ffrancis Clarke, Mr. Thomas Archer, 

Mr. Thomas Audley 1633. 

2. Lord Ailsbury, Lord Ashburnam, Benedt. Conquest, Esq., Thomas 

Armstrong, Esq., Etheldreda Conquest, Henry Pearce, Thomas 
Impey. 

3. Ave Maria ! Gratia Plena ! 

4. Vive diu sed vive Dei, Deus omnia vidct, 1626. 

5. The Trinity have mercy on me Margaret Conquest. 
Trinitate sacra fiat hac Campana beata. 

The Rev. Thomas Archer, who contributed so liberally to augmenting the 
ring of bells here, left a collection of MSS., from which we learn that he was 
"borne in St. Edmunds Burie, 12 Aug., 1554," and was presented to the 
Rectory of Meppershall in November, 16 13, which he probably held in con- 
junction with Houghton Conquest. He also relates that "Sir Edmond 
Conquest, Knight" — whose name was on the ist bell — "was high shreive of 
Bedfordshire in Anno dom. 1618," and that " Sir ffrancis Clerke " — whose name 
was also on the same bell, and who " was married to M. Anne Conquest the 
26 of Novemr, 1593" — "was high shrive for the Countie of Bedford in 
a part of anno Dom. 1623 and in part of 1624, and Kinge Jeames, king of 
great Brittane, fraunce, And Ireland being this yeere in his progress in Bed- 
fordshire graced him with the degree of knighthood, 1624, in July." 

These five bells were " run into six by Thomas Russell of Wooton in the 
year 1724."* 

The six bells, so cast in 1724, having become, some cracked, and all more 
or less unfit for use, were recast by Mr. Mears, as described above, in the year 
1840, at a cost of ;^54, and were first rung on the birth of the Prince of Wales 
in the following year, 1841. 



* For these extracts from the Parish Registers and from the Archer MSS. I am indebted to 
the industry of Mr. F. A. Blaydes, who contributed them with many others to Bedfordshire 
NoUs and Queries. Note xxxi. 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. i6i 

The Rev. Henry John Rose (see 5th bell) was instituted in 1837, and died 
on the 31st of January, 1873. 

What is the allusion on the 5th bell ? 

HOUGHTON REGIS. 

All Saints. 6 Dells. 

1. JOHN BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 1815 +. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 25 in.) 

2. J. BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 18 16 + ^ ^. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 27 in.) 
3- aaWODAVaN made MEE i6i6. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 31 in.) 

4. J. BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 181 1 + C : W.-. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 29 in., names of C.W. omitted.) 

5. J0l|n $ ^trr matic $ mt 1580. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 36 in.) 

6. AMTHONY CHAPIDLER MADE ME 1673. 

(Diam. 44 in., height 30 in.) 
In 1552 the ring had apparently been recently increased from four to five 
bells, but was again reduced to the original number in consecjuence of the cost 
of the new bell not being paid. 

The Inventory taken that year says : — 

" Item iiij belles and y"^ v bell wass not all payd for and therforo yt wass 
solid to pay yt."* 

Considerable alterations are said to have been made in the belfry early in 
the present century. There were then five large bells — the parishioners had 
cither recovered the fifth bell, sold about the year 1552, or had subsequently 
purchased another. The ancient tenor bell — the stock of which is still pointed 
out in the ringing chamber — is reported to have been sold to Wavendon in 
Buckinghamshire ; the old second was recast in 181 1, and two new trebles — 
completing the present ring of six bells — were added in 18 15 and 1816. 

The 5th and 6th bells have had their cannons knocked off; the cannons of 
the new bells, ist, 2nd and 4th, are very short ; those of the third— a powerful 
bell — are very long. The fifth bell is a great favourite with the parishioners. 

* Land RcvcHUi Records. Bundle 1392, File 2. P. R. Off. 



1 62 The Inscriptions on tJie 

HULCOTE. 

S. Nicolas. 4 Bells. 

1. CHAHDLER MADE ME 1683. 

(Diam. 27I in., height 21 in.) 

2. ^Donor's U Arms^ ^jicliartr (^\\tvcxiist\\ :EsqltEtr Tfuljanne© 

:in)icr $ XXlE ^ JP.ecEf 8 .,^ 8 1593 Onlu 3?» C^otJ X3b 
8 all $ :&t0n0r ^ ©Iwrie. 

(Diam. 3o| in., height 22 J in.) 

3. [Z)^«(^r'5 U Ar7ns\ ^|p:r|artr (3rijarn0ck ^E.sqtrmr TfoTiannes 

:E)tEit XIlB :RECBf J5- 3 1593 OnlK 5Pw (50ti X3e 23-a 
;Mit»n0ti ^ ©l0ttte. 

(Diam. 38 in., height 25 in.) 

4. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1723. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 30 in.) 
On the 31st of August, 1552, when the Inventory of Church Goods belonging 
to this parish was taken, there were : — 

" Item iij lytell belles in the stepell the fore bell in compas A yeard one 
foote iij ynches in depth di. yard ij ynches in compas the second 
j yard di. iiij ynches in depthe di. yard vj ynches the third in com- 
pase ij yeardes xiij ynches depthe di. yeard vij ynches."* 

These three little bells probably remained here until the church was rebuilt 
by the Richard Charnock, Esq., whose name is upon the present 2nd and 3rd 
bells, and who, doubtless, at that time gave four bells, two of which have since 
been recast. 

So much of the history of the Charnock family as is sufficient for our present 
purpose may be gathered from two inscriptions on monuments in the church 
here. The first relates to the father of the donor of the bells : — 

Robert Chernocke Esqvier, Father of Richard Chernocke Esqvier Here 
interred did desende of an Anciente Hovse called Chernocke Hall 
in Lancashieree— He hadd by twoe wives of worshippfvU parentage 
ten children, by the one 6 and by the other 4 — He was the firste 
that planted this famelye in this covntye. He lefte his estate to the 

* Laiid Revenue Records. Bundle 1392, File 2. P. R. Off. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 163 

sayd Richard his sonne, Departingc this life abovtc 60 yearcs of age 
Anno Domini 1547. 

The second relates to the donor himself : — 

Here lyeth interred the Bodye of Richard Charnocke Esci"" sonne 
& Heire of Robert Chcrnocke here remembered he had twoe 
wives the first named Mary Pvthenam daughter of S' George 
Puthenham of Sherfielde in Hamshire Knight — By her he had 
Issve 6 sonnes and 8 daughters — The second wife named Avdrey 
Fradsom davghter of William Fradsom of Elton in the Covntye of 
Chester Esq. by whom he had noe issve. He reedified his parish 
Churche at his owne proper charge, newe bvilt his mansion Howse, 
Thrice bare office of Highe Shrife in this Shire : And Lastelye 
Havinge attayned the age of 84 yeares peaceablye and piovslye 
Deceased the 14th daye of August Anno Domini 16 15. 

The donor's arms on the 2nd and 3rd bells are [ arg. ] on a bend [ sa. ] three 
cross crosslets of the first with a crescent in chief for difference. 



HUSBORNE CRAWLEY. 

S. James. 6 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

1. St. JOHN THOMASON ESQ. GAVE ME 1637 RECAST 1820 BY 

R : TAYLOR & SON S'l. NEOTS. 

(Diam. 31^ in., height 24 in.) 

2. MEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME 161 1. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 26^ in.) 

3. WILLIAM EMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT O i7 79- 

(Diam. 35 J in., height 27 i in.) 

4. MEWCOME MADE ME AO 1616. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 31 in.) 

5. R. TAYLOR & SON FOUNDERS S'i\ NEOTS SEP^ 13TH ,820 

0000000 

(Diam. 42^ in., height 32 in.) 

6. MEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME AO. 1613. 

(Diam. 46^ in., height ii\ in.) 



164 The Inscripticrns on the 

Fries fs Bell.— 

1661. 

In the Inventory of Church Goods belonging to " Husbande Crauley," taken 

ist September, 1552, is a full description of the size of the bells : — 

" Item j hanbell and a Saunce Bell. 

" Item in y= steple of y^ sayde chyrche iiij belles. The grete bell in bredithe 
iiij foote & hallfe A inche, in depthe iij foote & v inches & in thycknes 
iij inches. The second in bredthe iij foote viij inches in depthe iij foote ij 
inches iij quarters in thycknes ij inches and iij quarters of an inche. The 
thyrde in bredthe iij foote v inches, in depthe iij & hallfe and {sic) inche 
and in thycknes ij inches & a hallfe. The fourthe bell in bredthe ij foote 
xj inches, in depthe ij foote v inches and in thycknes ij inches and a quarter 
of A inche." * 

There is a tradition at Ridgmount that three bells were sold from the old 
church there to this parish about the year 1820. 

It is reported, and very currently believed, at Woburn, that the Crawley 
bells were intended for that place, but the steeple there not being able to carry 
them, they were hung in their present position. There is clearly no truth in 
this fancy • it may have arisen from a jealous feeling in times past, on the part 
of the Woburn folk, for these bells are considered the best in the neighbour- 
hood. The frames and wheels, too, are in excellent order. 

These bells had a narrow escape of destruction in the year 1841, when 
their frames were, after a thunderstorm, found to be on fire, which was quenched 
by water carried up the spiral staircase — which was then in a sadly dilapidated 
state — in buckets. The bells were not rung for some years afterwards ; the 
frames were then restored from the wood left in the old frames, which were 
large. The staircase, too, has recently been repaired, and the approach to the 
bells and clock is now all that can be desired. 

There is a charity here called " The Husborne Crawley Charity," from the 
receipts of which grants can be made for the " repairs of the Parish Church, 
Church Steeple, Bells and Church Clock." 

" S^ John Thomason, Esqi's.," who gave the treble bell in 1637, was pro- 
bably a son of the John Thomson, Esq., one of the auditors of the Exchequer 
and Lord of this Manor, who, dying in 1597, was buried here in a tomb, upon 



Land Revenue Records t Bundle 1392, File 2, P. R. Off. 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 165 

which are the effigies of himself and his wife. The Registers contain entries 
at intervals relating to his family, but there is no trace of the donor of the 
belL 

KEMPSTON. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

I. ^^^]^j.&^ ^:E^e- _ j2:o:nx)e- 1617 [U39]- 

(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 

2. IH'2 NAZARENVS REX IVDEORVM FILI DEI MISERERE MEI 

"^^^Zl [U 39]- 

(Diam. 37 in., height 30 in.) 

3. RYCHARD MAMFORD : GEORGE WHEELER CHURCH- 

WARDENS 16 16. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 33 in.) 

(Diam. 43 in., height 35 in. ; cracked). 

5. :mxii:©:Bi \yij^^w^^ xrij3.x)e xnee 1603 

[U39]. 

(Diam. 46 in., height 36 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 60 and 55, and for specimens of letters on the ist, 2nd 
and 5th, see pp. 59 and 63. 

The founder intended to say on the 4th, " Ex Anna nata salvet nos ^"irgo 
Beata." 

KEYSOE. 

S. Mary. 5 Bklls. 

1. THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1840. 

REVD. WILLIAM AIRY VICAR. 

John Fox 1 _ 

■; ,, Churchwardens. 

John Browning I 

(Diam. 33 in., height 25 J in.) 

2. RICHARD BRICE AND IS.\.\C FLANDi: RS CHURCHWARDENS. 

JOS. EAYRE KECri\ 

(Diam. 34 A in., height 28 in.) 



1 66 The Inscriptions on the 

3. MEWCOME MADE ME Ao 16 15. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 29 in.) 

4. HEPIRY HAWES CHAMDLER MADE ME 1683. 

(Diam. 39^ in., height 30 in.) 

5. WILSON WELLS VICAR THQS HARTOP AND THQS WHITE 

CHURCHWARDENS h- EDD ARNOLD S'r NEOTS FECIT 
1772. 

(Diam. 44^ in., height t^t, in.) 

KNOTTING. 

S. Margaret. i Ret.l. 

I. Unitas. Rev J. W. Hawkesley Rector George Hine Church- 
warden. 
T. Mears of London Fecit 1828. 

(Diam. 2i| in., height i6| in.) 
The Rev. J. W. Hawkesley was instituted in March, 1792, and died in 
April, 1856. 

LANGFORD. 

S. Andrew. 3 Bells. 

1. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1855. 

(Diam. 28f in.) 

2. RICHARD WHEELER CHURCHWARDEN EDW© ARNOLD 

ST NEOTS FECIT 1780. 

(Diam. 29J in.) 

3. JOSEPH FEILD AND EDWARD CLARK CHURCHWARDENS 

JOSEPH EAYRE FECIT 1772. 
(Diam. Z2> i"-) 

LEIGHTON BUZZARD. 

All Saints. 8 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

I. John Swinstead did thro' perseverance Raise This Peal Compleat. 

Real merit is his praise 1787. John Stubbe M.D. Donor 

W. & T. Mears of London Fecit 1787. 
(Diam. -^2 in., height 25 in.) 



CJiurch Dells of Bedfordshire. 167 

2. John Mann Yeoman. W. «Sc T. Mears late Pack & Chapman of 

London Fecit 1787. 

(Diam. t^i in., height 25 in.) 

3. Mrs Martha Sidgwick Donor 1639 W. & T. Mear.s ok London 

Fecit 1788. 

(Diam. 35^ in., height 25 in.) 

4. Si'' Thomas Leigh Knighi- Donor 1623 \S . & T. Mkars late Lester 

Pack & Chapman oi" London Fecit 1787. 
(Diam. 38I in., height 27 in.) 

5. AV. & T. Mears Late Lester Pack and Chapman London Fecit 17S7. 

(Diam. 41] in., height 30 in.) 

6. John & Matthew Tii.lcock Overseers The Living to the Church 

I call and to the Grave I summons all W. ^ T. Mkars Late 
Lester Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1787. 
(Diam. 43! in., height 32 in.) 

7. L\ \Vi:nLOCK Bands alt, ve who Join AV^ith Hands Your Hearts 

Unite So shall our Tunekuli, Tongues Combine To Laud the 
Nuptial Rite W. & T. Mears Late Lester Pack c\: Chapman* 
OF London Fecit 1787. 

(Diam. 47;^ in., height 35 in.) 

8. Rev" John Wilson Samuel Davis Esquires Jeremiah Tilcock and 

William Poulton Churchwardens W. & T. Mears of London 
Fecit. 

(Diam. 53J, in., height 51 in.) 

Priest's Bell:— 
Blank. 

(Diam. 18 J in., height 18^, in.) 

The total weight of these bells (exclusive of the Priest's bell) is 5 tons 
5 cwt., the tenor is 3^ in. thick at the sound-bow.* 

The impression here is that the Priest's bell is an ancient one — it is called a 
" Roman Bell."" It is probably, from its length compared with its diameter, of 
pre-Reformation date. 

* Ex itifor. John Harris, Esq., C.E. 



1 68 The Inscriptions on the 

On the Bell-frame is cut : — 

EDWARD : ASHWELL 

ROBERT : KESER. FRANCIS 

MYCKELL : COLLS. PRICE 

C : W. 1639 

Mr. John Swinstead (see ist bell) was a landed proprietor living in the 
neighbourhood. He is traditionally remembered as a man passionately fond 
of music and bells, and was endowed, it is said, with a voice of five octaves in 
compass. Mr. John Stubbe was a physician practising in Leighton at that 
time. 

Mr. John Mann (see 2nd bell) was also a landowner at Leighton : his 
descendants emigrated to America. 

Sir Thomas Leigh (see 4th bell) was at that time Lord of the Manor of 
Leighton. 

The Rev. John Wilson (see tenor bell) died in 1826. 

"The Hon^'^ Charles Leigh Esq''^-" left, in 1704, by his will, 205-., to be paid 
every Christmas to the Parish Clerk for ringing the bell to daily prayers. This, 
being charged on leasehold property, expired some time ago. 

The clock and chimes having been silent for many years, were restored, in 
1863, by Charles White, Esq., merchant of London, a native of this place. 

LEIGHTON BUZZARD. 

A new church dedicated to S. Andrew, and consecrated in 1S67 ; has one 
small modern bell. 

LIDLINGTON. 

All Saints. i Bell and a Priest's Bell. 

I. MEARS & STAINBANK LONDON 1874. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 29 in.) 
Fries fs Bell :— 

^Efrc [ D <^ Lion passant gardant\ 

(Diam. 12 in., height 9 in.) 

In the tower of the old church, taken down in the year 1809, were five bells. 

In that year a blacksmith was induced by a gift of five shillings to ascend the 

belfry, then in a dangerous condition, and to hammer the tenor bell, then 

cracked, whilst the other bells were being rung. The 4th bell of the old 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 169 

ring and the Priest's bell were alone preserved and hung in the new tower. 
The former was inscribed : — 

Becoming cracked, it was recast as above in 1874. The latter is an ancient 

sanctus bell, bearing, in addition to its name, a small stamp of a lion passant 
gardant. 

LUTON. 

S. Mary. 8 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

1. I mean to make it Understood that Tho' I'm Liitle vet Fm Good 

Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1775. 
(Diam. 29 in., height 23 in.) 

2. Altho' I AM Both Light and Small I will be Heard above you 

All. Pack & ChapxMan of London Fecit 1775. 
(Diam. 30 in., height 25 in.) 
3-7. Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 1775. 

(Diams. 33, 35, 36^, 39, 41^- in., heights 25, 25, 26}, 30, 2,0 in. The letters 
on the 7th bell are incised.) 

8. I H S Nazarenus Rex Judeorum Fili Dei Miserere Mei Jos. Eayre 
S'^ Neots Fecit 1761. 

(Diam. 46 in., height 36 in.) 

Priests Bell:— 

1637. 
[U48.] 
(Diam. 19 in., height 17 in.) 
For Stamp on Priest's bell, sec p. 69. 

The " old ring " of bells is said to have consisted of five, namely : — 
Treble — mediceval. 
2nd — dated 1602. 
3rd — dated 16 16. 
4th — undated. 

Tenor— mediaeval, and believed to have weighed 44 cwt. 2 qrs. 16 lbs.* 
When the present bells were examined the Priest's bell was missing, but was 
eventually found in an outhouse at the Rectory. It had been lent for use at 
a temporary district church, and had not then been restored to its proper 
place. 



* E.y ill/or. Julin Harris, Esq., C.E. 



170 The Inscriptions on the 

MARSTON MORETAINE. 

S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1-5. ,iipB€T:E>©^:H ^^^%^j^^ixM o:p<a:Ei^p? 1610 

[ ^ 39 ]■ 

(Diams. 3 2 J, 44 in., heights 26, 31 J- in.) 

[ u 39 ]• , , 

(Diams. 34|, 35 in., heights 25I 30 in.) 

4. .^?3€r:E)©-:R ©:M3t:K:j^XDEi :m_(i):]pCLLm 1610 [ u 39 ]• 

(Diam. 39 in., height 30 in.) 

For Stamp, see p. 60. 

These excellent bells, all from Hugh Watts' foundry, are what are termed 
alphabet bells. They all bear letters of the fine character figured on p. 59. 
They hang in a detached campanile, standing fifty feet from the church ; the 
timbers of the frame are exceedingly large and strong. 

MAULDEN. 

S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1. ^B ^y^tvivci ^aittramiis [u 24 n 23] O [ n 22]. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 23 in.) 

2. EMMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1780. 

Jo«^Gu°^^^H Churchwardens. 
John Webb J 

(Diam. 31I in., height 23 in.) 

3. J0l|annc0 bier Ijanc tampanam fccif 1593. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 25 in.) 

4. THOMAS RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1738 + 

Michael Winwright 
& Joseph Higham. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 27 in.) 

5. T Mears of London Fecit 1831 Recast 1S31. Rev" Charles 

Ward MA Rector. 

M"^ T. W. Overman I ^ ,„ 

> Church Wardens. 
M'* John Seabrook J 

(Diam. 40 in., height 29 in.) 
For Stamps, see pp. 53 and 54. 
The Rev. Chas. Ward (see tenor bell) was instituted in 1S25. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 7 1 

MELCHBOURNE. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

1. PAWLETT St JOHN VICAR W^ AND THQS EDMUNDS C. W. •. 

ISLIP EDMUNDS LONDON FECIT 1764. 

(Diani. iZ^ i"-) height 26^ in.) 

2. THOMAS RVSSELL MADIE ME 17 19. 

(Diam. 35^ in., height 27^ in.) 

3. NON VERBO SEQ VOCE RESONABO DOMIM {sic) LAVDES 

1626. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 31^ in.) 

4. i^:^M-y^^ ©ojE) j3.:e>:o 0:13 c^u w^m^ 

^^UL^m^ 1 60 1 [ u 39 ]• 

(Diam. 42 in., height 32 in.) 

For Stamps and Letters on 4th bell, see pp. 60 and 59. 

The Rev. Pawlet St. John signs the Registers as Curate in 1740, and first 
as Vicar in May, 1742 ; his name ceases to appear after 7 August, 1774, but 
he does not appear to have been buried in this parish. 

MEPPERSHALL. 
S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1. jJol|u :E)tcr V Xllatic XHe 1591. 

(Diam. 28^ in., height 2\\ in.) 

2. HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. JOHN TAYLOR & Co. 

FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 1882. 

(Diam. 31^ in., weight 6 cwt. 3 qr. 7 lb.) 

3. J : FOX. C : W. J : BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 181 6. 

(Diam. 31 i in., height 23 in.) 

4. OMNIA FIANT AD GLORIAM DEI : JOSEPH EAYRE OF 

SAINT NEOTS HUNTINGDONSHIRE FECIT 1766. 
(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 

5. WILLIAM EMMERTON WOOTTON FECIT O 1774 William 

Lincoln Churchwarden O 

(Diam. 39^ in., height 29 in.) 

In the Public Record Office are preserved some papers relating to — amongst 
other Church goods — a " Saunce bell," fomierly belonging to this Church. 



172 The Inscriptions on the 

There is a letter dated from Westminster, on the i6th of May, 1556, signed 
by William Burners, Thomas Mildmay and John Wyscman, and addressed to 
Thomas Strynger, of Mepersale, in the county of Bedford, yeoman, by which 
he is ordered to appear in person before the writers at Westminster on the first 
day of Trinity Term then next, to answer concerning the detention of Church 
goods formerly belonging to the parish church of Mepersale. 

There is also a letter from Thomas Hemmynge, dated from Alrychesey, 3rd 
June [1556], and addressed to Berners, Mildmay and Wyseman, touching the 
order so given to Stringer, stating that the charge was made against him out of 
malice, "and forasmuche as my neyghbour ys an olde man, and not used to 
jorney, and that also I unworthely among;^ other of the worshypfuU as I sup- 
pose are yn lyke Commyssyone within our Shyre of Bedf: of and for the 
churche gooddes and other thynges, I have called the seid partie before me, 
and have declared the contentes of yo"" lettres before hym, and uppon dewe 
examynation therin had before me and other of the Commyssyon, have taken 
his answer concernynge the premisses yn wrytynge." The writer promises to 
go up himself within a day or two- of the beginning of that term, and trusts 
that the non-appearance of Stringer will not offend them. The declaration of 
Thomas Strynger is also preserved. It sets forth at some length that about six 
or seven years past he and one Gowther Parker, yeoman, of the same town {i.e. 
Mepersale), now deceased, were the Churchwardens of Mepersale, and when 
they were commanded by the King's Commissioners to come before them, and 
to bring a lawful inventory of such church goods and money as belonged to 
the said church of Mepersale, they appeared at Luton, and also at Clifton, and 
at the latter place delivered to Sir Michael Fisher, knight, and other Commis- 
sioners, an inventory in which, with other things, "and also v belles." After 
the inventory so presented, and before any goods were delivered, he and Parker 
upon the accounts were discharged, and John Strynger and Harry Meade were 
elected Churchwardens, after which election, and about three years past, they 
were commanded to appear before new Commissioners at Bedford with the 
ornaments specified in the inventory, and the said Churchwardens did make 
delivery accordingly. And forasmuch as it is to be supposed that one John 
Leventhorpe the elder, gentleman, of Mepersale, is one of the procurers of the 
bill against him, the deponent says that he must needs speak of the " ym- 
beaselynge " of certain goods by the said Leventhorpe which were not put in 
the Inventory 

" Inprimis he had a saunce belle hangynge yn the belfrey, and converted the 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 



/o 



same to his owne use, and never payd one peny therfore and by estymacon 
worthe to be sold iiij markes or thereaboughtes." 

The charge against Thomas Strynger appears to be comprised in these 
words : — 

" Ornamentes belonging to the churchc of Mepersale and soldc and 
deteyned by Thomas Stringer of the same, 
ffyrste one chalesse ......... 



Item one handebell solde to Leonard Daye xvj^. 

Sm^ vij''. xiij^ viij*^. 
M.^ the Commyssyoners certyfycate of Beddfordshyre beyng serched 
the xix Daye of June ann. ij'io and iij<='° itt api)erythe that Iviij*. 
viijd. for the broken chalycc the cope of Taffyta and latten was i)aid 
to the Commyssyoners handes by the said Thomas Stringer, and is 
chardged within the summe of cccviiji'. iiijd. for the churche goodcs 
of Beddfordeshyre."* 
Prior to 1882 the present 3rd bell was the 2nd, and the then 3rd bell was an 
ancient one, inscribed : — 

This old bell, being full of flaws and of bad tone, was recast in that year 
for the 2nd bell, and the old 2nd, cast in 1816, being much too flat for its 
position in the ring, was adopted as the 3rd bell. 



MILLBROOKE. 

S. Michael. 2 Bf.i.i.s. 

1. Hancta XHarla Ora [IPrw :i?iobis [ n 23 ] O [ D ^~^\ 

(Diam. 33 in., height 26 in.) 

2. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1677. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 31 in., cracked.) 

For Stamps on the ist (where the capital letters are crowned) sec p. 53. 

There were formerly three bells : one is now missing ; an aged clerk says, 
" Sent away by Churchwardens, about sixty years ago, to be run, and never 
came back." 

* Land Revenue Records. Churcli Goods, '^'*^' P.R. OfT. 

»7. 



1 74 The Inscriptions on the 

MILTON BRYANT. 

S. Pkter. 3 Bells. 

1. [+ 56] [IK 53] 1641 [DSS]. 

(I)iam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 

2. 1636 [D 51] RICHARD CHAMDELER [+50] 1636. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 27 in.) 
3- [ + 55 ] <^'01) [ D 58 ] SAVE OVR KING 1641 [ I K 53 ]. 
(Diam. 36I in., height 27 in., cracked.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 75, 76 and 71. 

On the fly-leaf of one of the Registers is a memorandum that " i bell was 
cast in 1622, Mr. Winn'e being the Rector." No present bell agrees with this 
entry. 

The tenor was recently cracked by allowing the clapper to " drop," and so 
strike the bell below the sound-bow. The clock-hammers (there are two) which 
now strike on the 2nd bell, bell-ropes, etc., required attention when these bells 
were examined. Possibly the defects have been since remedied by the 
Churchwardens. 

The bells formerly hung in a kind of wooden tower, or bell-cage. The 
present tower was built about thirty years ago. It is large enough for a good 
ring of bells, but the walls are rather thin. 

MILTON ERNEST. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

1. 4, 5. MEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME AO 161 1. 

(Diams. 28, 34, 37 in., heights 23, 26, 29 in.) 

2. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1678. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 24 in.) 

3. I .-. EDMUNDS LONDON FECIT 1765. GEO .*. BACK- 

HOUSE VICAR. HENRY BULL & JAME2 HARTWELL : 
C . • . W . • . 

(Diam. 32 in., height 25 in.) 

MUGGERHANGER. 

S. Mary the Virgin. i Belu 

I. HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 

G. MEARS FOUNDER LONDON i860. 

(Diam. 23^ in., height 18^ in.) 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 



I D 



NORTHILL. 

S. Mary. 5 Bfj.i.s. 

I. L^ 21] Hanctc ©a&rtct Ota ^trw ^obia O. 

(Diam. 34J in., height 26 in.) 

ji:m:iii©- [038] :BiJiT^is)i:i?i<3 [U39] 1589- 

(Diam. 35 in., height 28 in.) 

3. is{mM:^^ C50DE> j5-:m)E) ox^e^u xx^e 

X>XiXXl€Te- 1602 [U39]- 

(Diam. 39 in., height 30 in.) 

4. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 17— 11. 

(Diam. 43^ in, height ii\ in.) 

AO 

5. MEWCOME OF LEICESTER MADE ME 161 13. 

(Diam. 48^ in., height 36 in.) 
For Stamps and for specimen of letters on the 2nd and 3rd, sec pp. 52, 60 
and 59. 

OAKLEY. 
S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1. R. STOKES -H VICAR O J : AGUTER & O : PURSER C : W 

-.- 1750. T : EAYRE . • . RETT. FECIT O. 
(Diam. 28 in., height 23^ in.) 

2. T. SMITH R. KNIGHT CHVRCHWARDENS J. C 1711. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 23^ in.) 

3. (50X> BMsv:'^ wx^^ x^ixi©.9 [U39]. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 26 in.) 
4. THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1842. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 25 in.) 
5- X>XiJiXHQ- WM^ X^OXi:0 1600 [U 39]. 
(Diam. 38 in., height 35 in.) 
For Stamps and for specimens of letters on the 3rd and 5th bells, see pp. 
60 and 59. 

There is in the church a memorial to "The Rev"*. M'. Robert Stookes [see 
treble bell], Vicar of this parish and Curate of Steventon : he died the nth of 
November, 1770, in the 62"'* year of his age." 



1 76 The Inscriptions on the 

ODELL. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

I, 2. 1638. I K. 

(I)iams. 30^^ and 33 in., heights 24 and 25^ in.) 

3. WB[n 57]. RR[D 58]. CW 1638. 

IK. 
(Diam. 34I in., height 28 in.) 

4. [ + 54] GOD SAVE OVR KIWG i6j8. 

(Diam. 38I in., height 30 in.) 

j^^i^ miBM-^m WM^ itLj.^i(^ 1635 [u 39]- 

(Diam. 42-I in., height 32 in.) 

For Stamps and for specimens of letters on the 5th bell, see pp. 76, 75, 60 
and 59. 

There are a set of good rules hanging in the ringing chamber for the 
guidance of the ringers. 

PAVENHAM. 

5. Peter. 5 Bells. 

I. DANL HIPWELL AND WILLIAM DIX C : WARDENS ROBt 
TAYLOR ST NEOTS FOUNDER 1796. 
(Diam. 28| in., height 2o| in.) 

2. ©o:e) BMs^m wM^ ^.^^m:Eim 1602 [u 39]- 

(Diam. 28^ in., height 22J in.) 

3. RICHARD O GILBERT [*] ROBERT o TOLE o CHVRCH 

O WARDENS [*] JOHN O HODSON O MADE rj MEE 
Oi663[*] WHO 00. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 25 in. * Fleur-de-lys.) 

4. MEWCOME MADE MEE AO 1614. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 26 in.) 

5. [+ 54] GOD [D 58] SAVE \U 58] OVR [Q 58] KF/IG [ D 58] 

1623 [IK 53]. 

(Diam. 35 i in., height 27 in.) 
For Stamps and for specimens of letters on the 2nd bell, see pp. 60, 75, 76 
and 59. 



Clmrch Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 7 7 

PERTENHALL. 

SS. Peter and Paul. ' 3 Bells. 

1. ROBEART O SMITH O EDWARD <> PECOKE O CHVRCH 

O WARDENS O O O O O WILLIAM O HVLL <> 
MADE <> ME O 1666 O- 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 23 in.) 

2. JOHN WADSWORTH Q CHVRCHWARDEN 17 16 THOMAS 

RV22ELL OF WOOTTON. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 25 in.) 

3. CHANDLER MADE ME 1683. 

(Diam. 34^? in., height 28 in.) 
These bells have been recently re-hung. 

POLLUXHILL. 
S. James. i Beli, 

I. Tho^ Mears of London Fecit iSoo W'' Collyer &: Jos" Cole 
Church Wardens. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 24 in.) 

POTTESGROVE. 

S. Mary. 3 Bells. 

1. Blank. 

(Diam. 26^ in., height i8| in.) 

2. EDWARD HALL MADE ME 1743. ELLISTON WALKER 

CHURCHWARDEN. 

(Diam. 28^ in., height, 2\\ in.) 

3. Thomas Mears of London Fecit 1813. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 22 in.) 

It is said that prior to the year 1743 there was only a single bell, which hung 
in a stone turret. About that time two other bells were added, and a wooden 
erection was put up in which to place them. The church is now (18S1) being 
restored. This wooden cage will be removed, and a new stone turret erected 
to contain the bells, in accordance with the original design. They will not be 
hung for ringing, simply for chiming by means of iron levers. 

The treble bell, without inscription, is a long-waisted, ancient-looking bell. 
The cannons have been cut off", and she has been much cut, apparently in an 
endeavour to bring her into tunc with the others. 
2 A 



1 78 The Inscriptions on the 

POTTON. 

S. Mary. 5 Bells. 

1. THOMAS NEWMAN MADE MEE 1706 Mr. RICHARD LEE. 

(Diam. 26| in., height 19'; in.) 

2. THOMAS HANKIN, THOMAS PLOMER. CW 1706. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 21 in.) 

3. JAMES UNDERWOOD & GEORGE KITCHING CHURCH- 

WARDENS ROBT TAYLOR ST NEOTS FOUNDER 1797. 
(Diam. 29 i in., height 2\\ in.) 

4. GEORGE KITCHIN & JOHN YAVD : CHVRCHWARDENS 

T. JANAWAY FECIT. RECAST ANNO DOMINI 1785. 
(Diam. 32 in., height 23 in.) 

5. GEORGE SMITH ) r^TTTTr>r>TT,,r a-dt^itxtc 

JOHN CRESSEY LLOYD I CHURCHWARDENS. 
C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1844. 
(Diam. 35 in., height 25 in.) 

The Parish Registers contain several entries relating to the Lee family (see 
ist bell), dating from 1673 to the 3rd of October, 1708, on which day is 
entered the burial of " Richard Lee, Gent.," the donor of, or a benefactor to, 
the treble bell. His name is mentioned in an account of the Potton Charities 
as lending ^15 in July, 1699, to make up the sum of £,220, the amount 
required to purchase some " Town Lands." The numerous local records of 
this parish are scattered about ; they should be collected and placed in safe 
keeping. Many are lost, others are being damaged by damp and mice. 



PUDDINGTON. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

I. JOHN TAYLOR FOUNDER OXFORD AND LOUGHBOROUGH 

1843. 

(Diam. 30 in.) 

2. j^:B<sr :E)er:R ©:e^i 1609 [u 39]. 

(Diam. 34 in.) 

3. [+54] GOD SAVE OVR ONO 161 3. 

(Diam. 35 in., cracked). 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. \ 79 

4. [+54] ("^OD SAVE OVR KING 1618. 

(Diam. 37 in.) 
For Stamps and for specimens of letters on the 2nd bell, see pp. 60, 75 

and 59. 

RAVENSDEN. 

All Saints. 3 Bells. 

I. THOMAS WALKER CHVRCHWARDEN 17 11. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 23^ in.) 
2 C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1847. 

(Diam. 30^- in., height 23! in.) 

3. ^y\.j^%Bm ^-Ker j5.o:ri:oe- 1O03 [ u 39-] 

(Diam. 33 in., height 24 in.) 
For Stamps and specimen of letters on 3rd bell, see pp. 60 and 59. 

RENHOLD. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

I, 2. CHRISTOPHER •.'• GRAIE •."• MADE ME 1658. 
(Diams. 28^, 30^ in., heights 21}, 24 in ) 

3. Blank. 

(Diam. 33 in., height 25^ in.) 

4. THOMAS 'rVSSELL MADE ME 1721. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 27^ in.) 

5. WILLIAM EMMERTON O OF O WOOTTON FECIT 1775 OO 

Robert Newman 1 ^ ^ r\ n\ 

\ Churchwardens (J O 
Richard Ashpole J 

(Diam. 41?, in., height 30 in.) 

RIDGMOUNT [Ancient]. 

There were formerly in this church — now used only as a cemetery chapel — 
four bells, three of which are said to have been sold, about sixty years ago, to 
Husborne Crawley, in order to raise money for repairs, and the 4th still remains 
hanging in a tower in fiir too dilapidated a condition to be safe for any one to 
ascend. 



i8o The Tnscriptio7is on the 

RIDGMOUNT [New Church]. 

All Saints. i Bell. 

I. PRESENTED BY FRANCIS RUSSELL DUKE OF BEDFORD 1855 
C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON. 
(Diam. 44 in., height 33 in.) 

RISELY. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

1. GOD SAVE THE KINGE 1639 [U 39 ]• 

(Diam. 32 in., height 27 in.) 

2. HGFEDCBA XWVT SRQPO 1639 [U 39]. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 28 in.) 

3. + ^ F. W. WHITEHEAD & s. RICHARDS . C.W : R : TAYLOR & J 

BRIANT ST NEOTS FECERUNT 1816. 
(Diam. 35I in., height 28 in.) 

4. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS 1852. LONDON. 

(Diam. 40 in., height 28 in.) 

5. SAMUEL RICHARDS & W BURBIQGE CHURCHWARDENS 

R : TAYLOR S^ NEOTS FECIT 1814. 
(Diam. 44 in., height 31 in.) 
For Stamps, see p. 60. 

ROXTON. 

S. Mary. 4 Bells. 

1. TAYLOR S"^ NEOTS FOUNDER 1799. 

(Diam. 28 in., height 19 in., piece out of sound-bow.) 

2. [+ I ] BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH ME SEE THAT 

NEWCOMBE OF LEICESTER MADE ME i6oi. 
(Diam. 29J in., height 23 in.) 

3. \A Fleur-de-lys ] 1 5 9 1 • 

(Diam. 30 in., height 25 in., large crack and piece out of sound-bow.) 

4. Blank. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 26 in.) 
For Stamps on 2nd bell, see p. 41. 

Three of these bells are said to have been cracked on the occasion of ring- 
ing for the marriage of the Prince of Wales in 1863. 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 1 8 1 

SALFORD. 

S. Mary. 3 Bkli.s. 

I- [+ 55] [DsSDsS] [IK53] 1626. 

(Diam. 26 in., height 21 in.) 

2. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1C61. 

(Diam. 27 in., height 20 in.) 

3. «^trE XHattt^ [U 24023] O [022]. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 23 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 75, 76, 53 and 54. The capitals of the inscription on 
the 3rd bell are crowned. 

In 1552, when an Inventory of the Church Goods belonging to Salford was 
drawn up, there were : — 

"Iterti in y<= steple of y^ said church iij belles the great bell in compas 
too yeardes and di in deapth iij (luarter and a nayle the second in 
compasse ij yerdes and a quarter in deapth iij quarter the third in 
compasse ij yerdes in deapth iij quarter save a nayle. 
Item ij hande belles."* 

There is no tower to this church ; the bells are hung in an open wooden 
turret at the west end of the church, and can be reached only from the roof. 
They cannot be rung, as there are no wheels : they arc chimed by levers. 

SANDY. 

S. SwiTHiN. 5 Bei.i.s. 

1. EGO SUM VOX CLAMANTIS JOSEPH EAYRE FECIT 1769. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 27 in.) 

2. RVSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1723. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 24 in.) 

3. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1852. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 26 in.) 

4. [ + I ] BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH MEE SEE 

THAT NEWCOMBE OF LEICESTER MADE MEE 1602. 
(Diam. 39 in., height 29 in.) 



* Land Kncnue Records, r-uiullc 1392, lilc 2, I'.K. On". 



i82 The Inscriptions on the 

5. THOMAS RVSSELL OF WOOTTOM NFAR BEDFORD MADE 
ME 1733 00000 THOMAS BLEEN AND THOMAS 
ADKINS CHURCHWARDENS O O O O O O 
(Diam. 42 in., height 31^ in.) 

P'or Stamps on 4th bell, see p. 41. 

This parish lost two bells in the reign of Edward the Sixth, for which the 
parishioners were called to account by the Commissioners in the year 1556. 
A letter, addressed from Sandy, is still extant in the Public Record Office, 
which, while not explaining very clearly under what circumstances the bells 
were removed from the steeple, gives a somewhat curious picture of the man- 
ner in which church bells were sometimes misappropriated. The letter runs 
thus : — 

After commendacions vnto yo'' Worships the Kinge and the qifene rha''"=s 
Comyssioners Theshalbe to ass''teyn yo" for answere accordynge to the 
tenor of you"" lettre directed to vs the Inhabitauntes of the Towne 
and paryshe of Sandeye in the County of Bedf. for ij belles thone 
wayenge x*^ i q"" and ix"' of bell mettell and thother wayenge vij<= 
xlvij'" of bell mettell w* said ij belles were lefte in the churche yarde 
of Sandey by y^ commaundeme' of M"" Robt. Burgoyn decessid then 
beynge one of the Kynge ma''<=s Audytcs who had all the doynge of 
the exchaynge of y'^ saide ij belles and y'^" charged y' no persone 
shulde medle with y*^ same belles vntill he sent for theym And sayd 
y' he wold discharge vs of y'^™ at all tymes so y' we were not charged 
w' the said belles And so shortly after the dethe of the said Mr 
Burgoyn Dame Elizabethe Litton late wiff of y'^ same maister 
Burgoyn late wifif of S'' Robt Litton Knyght also decessyd and now 
wiff unto Mr Thwynno, commaunded and caused one Michael 
Hodgskyn of Brodwater in the parishe of Nebborthe in the County 
of Hertf y«" beynge bayly vnto y^ said Dame Elizabeth Litton to 
ffett the said ij belles from Sandey aforesaid w'^ his cart vnto Neb- 
borthe aforesaid where as the same Lady Litton y^" dwelled. And 
y^ said Michaell Hodgskyn saythe shortly after y« said Lady Litton 
caused y^ same ij belles to be carryed to London towardes the pay- 
ment of y^ dettes of her said late husband Mr Burgoyn And this 
the said Michaell Hodgskyn who his a lyve at this present will witnes 
and testifie this before whome so ever he shalbe called, for s'^teyn of 



CImrch Bells of Bedfordshire. 183 

vs the said inhabitaunce of Sandey were w'^ the said Michaell 
Hodgskyn of late to have the trowght theryn who lyke an honest 
man dcclayred no lesse vnto vs y=" is before sayde and thus we the 
said Inhabytauntes of Sanday who have subscrybed o"" handes here 
vnder written in the name of all y= inhabitauntes of y« Towne and 
parishe of Sandey aforesaid have as well advertised yo"" worships by 
whom the same ij belles were taken away as also by whate auctorytie 
and further we cannot say as knowith God who have your Worships 
in his tuyscion from Sandey the xij''' of October 1556 
by yo''s to Commaunde 
Thomas Cater Roger Aldryche 

\\'yllyam ffrancke 

Tomas Cater Willm. adrosere 

Ihon bronsoU Thomas wonderwode 

Thomas Brittyn -H Thomas spring 

Thomas Goswell Rale bronsoU 

Wyll'am Cartor + 
lohn BronsoU 
\^Addr€SseLp[ To the Right Wo'^shipfull 
Mr Thomas Myldmay and 
oy''s y'= Kinge and quene ma''<^^ 
Commyssioners in the paryshe 
of saynt Thomas thapostle 
in London yeve these 
\belino in another hand\ 
ffrom Sandy 



YEndoiscd^ 



From the 
Towne of 
Sandye in 
the Countie of 
Bedf. concernyng 
thaccompt of 
S"" George 
Gyffarde* 



* La)u{ Kivcnuc Kaords, Iniinllc 139;;, 1' ilc 4, Nu. 1, 1'. K. UM. 



184 The Inscriptio7is on the 

SHARNBROOK. 

S. Peter. 5 Bells. 

1. JOHN SHARP AND JOHN MERRILL CHVRCHVVARDENS 

MATTHEW BAGLEY MADE MEE 1683. 
(Diam. 24 in.) 

2. HENRY BAGLEY MADE MEE 1683. 

(Diam. 29^ in.) 

3. EX DONO THOME MOVNTAGV DE BVRTON COMITAT 

NORTHAMPTON RECTORIS 1683. 
(Diam. 30^ in.) 

4. HEWCOME OF LEICESTER Ao 161. [?] 

(Diam. 36 in.) 

5. WILLIAM CORBEY AND JOHN ROGERS C W HENRICVS 

BAGLEY ME FECIT Q 1699. 

(Diam. 39 in.) 
There is the date 1683 carved on the bell-frame: the bells were probably 
rehung in that year, when several of them were cast. 

SHEFFORD. 

S. Michael and All Angels. i Bell. 

I. R. TAYLOR . FECIT S^ NEOTS 1808 WILLIAM GREEN 
CHURCHWARDEN. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 22 in.) 

SHELTON. 

S. Mary. 3 Bells. 

1. PRAIES GOD 1599. 

(Diam. 26| in., height 20 in.) 

2. JOSEPH EAYRE S^^ NEOTS FECIT 1770. 

(Diam. 29I in., height 24 in.) 

3. I H'8 NAZARENVS REX IVDEORVM FILI DEI MISERERE 

MEI 1634 [U39]- 

(Diam. 32 in., height 26 in.) 
For Stamp and specimens of letters on the 3rd bell, see pp. 60 and 59. 



CImrch Bells of Bed/ordshur. 1S5 

There is a tradition current, both here and at the adjacent parish ot Har- 
grave, Northamptonshire, that the Uaryravo folk "swopped" a clock with 
their neighbours here for one of their bells, and to this day it is a matter of 
chaffing on the part of the Hargrave people that they had the best of the 
bargain. 

SHILLINGTON. 

All Saints. 5 Bells and a Priest's Bell. 

I. [ ^ "^gl PRAISE THE LORD 1638. 

(Diam. 37 in.) 

2. :^:EiJ3:i.s©- wM^ :iiio:nx) 1602 [U39]. 

(Diam. 41 in.) 

3. [ + I ] BE YT KNOWNE TO ALL THAT DOTH ME SEE 

THAT NEWCOMBE OF LEICESTER >LM)E MEE 160. 
(Diam. 44 ^j in.) 

4. NON CLAMOR SED AMOR CANTAT IN AURE DEI 1624. 

(Diam. 45 in.) 

5- [ + 59 ] CUM CANO BUSTA MORI CUM PULPITA VIVERE 
DISCE. DISCE MORI NOSTRO VIVERE DISCE SONO 
1624. 

(Diam. 47 j in., height 39 in.) 

Pries fs Bell:— 

1626. 

(Diam. 16 in.) 

For Stamps, sec pp. 60, 69, 41 and 76 ; and for specimens of letters on the 
2nd bell, see p. 59. 

The Churchwardens' Accounts, which are in good preservation, contain 
many entries relating to the bells. 1 have, by the kind permission of the 
Rev. J. A. Bonser, the Vicar, extracted the following : — 

1574 Paid ta Robert Green and to Richard Deere for vj 
dayes worke aboute y"' hanginge of the great bell 
and for trussingc of the other belles and mendinge 

of y'= frame xiiij-f- 

Payd to James Dcare for bred and 1 )rinke at y*^ sett- 
ing upp of y*-' poste to way y"" great bell ... ... iiij-/ 

2 li 



86 The Inscriptio7is on the 

Payd to Willya Smithe for drawing fourth of y*^ great 

bell clapper and for rounding of ye same ... ... \5. 

Paid to Willya Smithe for laying of y<= flite of y*^ fore 

bell clapper and for roundinge of y"^ same... ... \s. 

[Second and third bells mentioned] 
Paid to John Wodfeild plumer of Hitchin for xv . . . 
ofmettell ... ... ... ... ... ... x5. 

1575 Receyvid of the belfounder ... ... ... vli. 

Paid for one half hide witlethere ... ... ... \]s. n]d. 

[This was for making baudricks for the bells] 
Paid for makinge y^ quittance when we receyved 
money of y^ belfounder ... ... ... ... \]d. 

Paid ye belfounder in ernest when he toke y'^ bell to 

caste ... ... ... ... ... ... ... \\]d. 

Paid for his supper ... ... ... ... ... xj^. 

[Church Clock mentioned] 
Paid to Robert Greene for mendinge the belles ... \\]s. \]d. 

Payd when they went to buckyngham when they 
went w' the great bell ... ... ... ... xx\]d. 

Paid y« same tyme for theyre suppers at Woburne x\]d. 

Paid for theire brekfaste in y'^ mornyng ... ... viij^. 

Paid for takynge downe y^ bell ... ... ... \d. 

Paid to Willm. ffowlere for carringe the bell ... xs. 

Paid to grene & his companye when they hounge 

up y« bell for theire brekfasts at Deare his howse... xxij(/. 

Paid for on paire of boote ledgs to make bawdriks 

w'all ... ... ... ... ... ... ... xij^. 

Paid ij bell Ropes ... ... ... ... ... v\]s. 

Payd to ye Ringers on Seynt Hewes daye and for 

barbers suppere ... ... ... ... ... \\]d. 

[George Edwards] He laid forthe at buckingh^im 

when they w^ent w^t ye bell ... ... ... ... ij.f. iiij^. 

He laid forthe homeward at Woborne ... ... xx^. 

He paid Willni ffowler for carrynge the bell ... x^. 

He laid forthe at Amptill as they came homeward 

w' the bell ... ... ... ... ... ... \]d. 



Church Dells of Bedfordshire. 187 

1576 Paid for bred and drinke for y^ Ringers on Sainte 

Hewes daye ... ... ... ... ... .•• xviiji. 

1577 Itiii for a pece of Whytlether ... ... .-• \]s- 

1578 Itiii for mcdyng a bawdricke ... ... ... vj^. 

[At the end of this year's account is, in a different 

handwriting : — 
The new fore Bell do way vij hundred and xxij //. 
The old fore Bell did waye vij hundred and a halfe 

and xiiij //. 
The old third Bell did way iij enters of a hundred 

more than the new. 
The new great Bell do way a hundred xxj //. more 
than the old] 
1579-80 Itm for Bell mcttell rec. \\]li.xs. 

Payments : — 

Itm to the bell founder an ernest ... ... ... \)d. 

Itm expence at the castinge of the bells ... ... vijy. \\d. 

Itm it was agreed that Ringted should have for 
takinge downe the bells and hangingc them up 
agayne xxxiiji'. iiij^. whereof he receyved in money 
and a brasse of half a crowne 
Itni foure baudryks for the belles ... 
Itiii for the bell ropes 

Itiii layd out for the belfounder for vij sacks of char- 
coales and the fetchinge 

Itni for the expences at the castinge of the last bell 
15S0-1 Itni rec. for Bell mettell the xvij daye of Jan. 

beinge the first paymente ... ... ... ...\\U.\\s. 

Itiii rec. for Bel mettel at one other lymcbcingc the 

last paymente ... ... ... ... iiij//. xvij.r. 

Payments : — 

Paid vnto William Smyth for mcndinge of foure 

clapers and other worke ... ... ... ... xxiiji'. \\\)d. 

September the xviij^'' Paid vnto the belfounder ... liijj. iiij</. 
Paid for makinge of the acquitancc ... \\\]d. 



XXVJT. 


viijj'. 


iJ3-. 


\\\)d. 


viijy. 




\s. 


viij(/. 




xij</. 



1 88 The Inscriptions on the 

Paid unto Roberte greene for ccrtayne worke aboute 

the fourthe bell in hanginge of her faste ... ... xij^/. 

[This entry shows there were now five bells.] 

1 58 1 -2 It' to the Bellfounder for arnest for casting the 

Bell iiij^- 

It' dryncke for the Bellfounder iij^- 

Payd to the Bellfounder for casting of the Bell ...iiij//'. \s. 
Payd for carryng & wayng the Bell & Recarryng ... vj. 

Payd for taking downe of the Bell ... ... xij^?! 

Payd for the overplus of mettall viij^. viij^. 

Paid for removing the fore bell ... ... ... xij^/. 

1585-6 It' payd for half a hide of Whitlether for the bells xy. \]d. 

1588 Payd to the Bellfounder for earnest for to cast the 

Bells xijV. 

Payd for drynke for the Belfounder ... ... vd. 

Payd for drynke for the woorkemen when they tooke 

downe the Bells \.]s. vjd. 

Payd for the Carters dynners and others of the 

towne when the Bells were caried to Hitchin ... y'njs. 

Payd for drynke for the Bellfounder and others 

that did helpe to drawe up the Bells ... ... xvujd. 

Payd to the Bellfounder ... ... ... ... xxiijj, 

Payd for the Bellfounders and the woorkemes sup- 
pers when the Bells were hanged [?] ... ... x^. 

Payd for the Bells founders dynner the iiij'^ of October \'iy/. 

Payd to the Bellfounder the x^^ of Octob"^ ... vs. 

Payd to the Bellfounder the xi]^^ of October ... xx-xijV. 
Payd for sope for the bells .. . ... ... ... i]d. 

Payd to Robert Greene for hanging the Bells ... xn]s. iiij^. 
Payd for drynke when the Bells were hanged ... xxd. 

Payd to the Bellfounder ... ... ... ...v//. vj5. viij^. 

[There is next " a Booke levied for castinge of the 
Bells," a long list of ratepayers in 1588]. 
1594 It' paide to Kippes forfower Bell ropes wayng xliij//. 

at i'ly/. the pownde ... ... ... ... ... Xi\ viij^/. 

[Ringing on S. Hugh's day in this and other years.] 





i\s. 


xJ. 




m'}s. 


iiij(/. 


iij//. 




xij^. 


vj//. 






x//. 







CImrch Bells of Bedfordshire. 1S9 

1597 Payd for a saunce bell roope ... ... ... \\\)d. 

1599 Laid out to Scipis [Kippes of i)revious entry in 

1594] of Hitchin the rope maker for a great bell 

rope ... ... ... ... ... ... ... iij^. \\\d. 

1603 — 4 Laied foorth by y<= Churchwardens about the bells 

as foUoweth : — 

Paied to the bellfounder ... ... ... ... x//. 

Paied for writing of bonds ... ... \]s. 

Paied to y^ bellfounders men ... ... ... xij^/. 

Paied to William Easam his charges to Leicester 

when ye bels went to be cast 

Paied at the same for John Mills & Leach his charges 

Paied to Cheese for hanging y^ bells ... ...ii 

[Timber, Boards and Nails]. 

Paied for y^ carriage of y'= bells to Leicester 

Paied to y<= bellfounder at y"^ second payment 

Paied for bell roopes ... ... ... ... ws. \\\)d. 

Paied to John Burley for a dinner for y° labourers 

and for bread and beare for them at the taking downe 

of y® bells and y® hanging them vp ... ... ixi-. ix</. 

Paied for oyle for y" bels ... ... ... ... xij</. 

Paied for mending y" upper bell loft ... ... \]s. \\d. 

[It is evident from these entries that several bells 
were recast at this time by Hugh Watts, of Leices- 
ter, then the most famous founder in the midland 
counties. One of those bells — the 2nd of the 
present ring — still remains, and bears the well- 
known stamp of the founder.] 
1607 Paid for hanging the third bell ... ... ... xviij^/. 

1613 Paide to Honor for Hangeinge the bells and mend- 

inge the frame ... ... ... ... ••• xxxiiiji-. 

[and other work about the Bells] 

Bestowed vpon the bellfounder ... ... ... \']s. \\\]d. 

16 1 4 Paid to Williri Smith for mendinge the grcatc bell 

clap xiij.y. iiijV. 

16 16 Ite' paid for a saunce bell roope ... ... •■• xvij</. 

Paid Willfn Hare .... and hanging the saunce bell \\]d. 



x\s. 




xviij^. 


vd. 




xi]d. 




xijd- 


iji. 




Vlji". 






xij^. 


//. is. 


i]d. 



190 7/ie Inscriptions 07i the 

1 6 19 Bestowed vpon the ringers the Vth of November .. . xijdf. 

1624 Layd forth at S' Ives when I went w"' the Bells ... viJ5. 

Paid to Thomas Man and his two brothers for XX 

dayes worke about the Bells xxxiij^. 

[and other expences] 

Paid to John ifeild & John Crouch for carrying the 

Bells to S' Ives 

Paid for taking downe the bells 

Layd forth at S' Ives when we did bargayne at the 

first 

And when we took bond of him ... 

Given to his man when the bels was cast ... 

And when they ware cast myselfe and my horsse . . . 

And for making the Bond ... 

Item for casting the Bells and brasses 

[The above entries, made in 1624, relate to the 
casting of the present 4th and 5th bells in that 
year. They were cast by Tobias Norris, of Stam- 
ford, who probably at that time had a temporary 
foundry at St. Ives.*] 

1628 Item given to the Ringers on the Coronation day... ij^. 

1629 Ite' given for ringing vpon the king's holiday ... ijj. 
[and so in 1631] 

1632 Ite' paid to John Cheese for worke about y^ saunce 

bell ... ... ... ... ... ... ... o .: o 

1638 Ite' spent at Hartf when we went w'^ the Bell ... o 8 8 

Ite' to John Baxter for hanging of the Bell ... o 14 o 
Ite' at going out of our bell and at coming in for 

bread and beere ... ... ... ... ... o i 4 

Ite' to John Crouch for drawing our bell to Hartford 013 o 

Ite' to Robert Oldfeild for casting our bell at eleaven 

shillinge the hundred ... ... ... ... 4 10 6 

Ite' spent at the payment of the money ... ... o o 9 

* In further support of this opinion, see Dr. Raven's Church Bells of Cambridgeshire, 2nd 

Ed., p. 70. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 9 1 

Ite' paid for two Bonds about casting of the Bell... o i o 
[These entries made in 1638 relate to the casting of 

the present treble bell in that year.] 
1 66 1 Given to y® Ringers y^' 29'h of May ... ... o 2 6 

[In 1665 there are charges for ringing on Coronation 

day and " Gunpowder Treason day."] 

There is an erroneous tradition that the bells here — which are fine in tone 
— came from the neighbouring parish of Arlcscy. [See p. 123.] They were 
not injured when the ancient tower fell in 1701. 

SILSOE. 

S. James. 2 Bells. 

I, 2. CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1S57. 

Royal \) Arms. 

PATENT. 

(Diams. 29^, 32 in., height 22, 23 in.) 

SOULDROP. 

All Saint.s. 3 Bells. 

1. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1828. TAX. 

(Diam. 2\\ in., height 17^ in.) 

2. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1828. BENEVOLENTIA. 

(Diam. 23 in., height 18^ in.) 

3. T. MEARS OF lONDON FECIT 1828. GLORIA. 

THE REVD JOHN WEBSTER HAWKSLEY RECTOR 01' KNOT 
TING & SOULDROP RECTOR OF TURVEY BEDS. 

JOSEPH RADBOURNE ) CHURCHWARDENS 
RICHARD POOLE J 

(Diam. 26 in., height 20^ in.) 

The roof of the ancient church here having fallen in about Chri.stmas, 1795, 

the bells, the lead, and the old materials of the church were sold — in August, 

1799 — in order to raise funds to build a barn-like structure at a cost of _;^5oo, 

which gave place to the present fabric. The lead sold for ;i^8o, and the bells 

— two in number — for ;^6o. One of the latter is said to have been inscribed : 

Sit nomen Domini bcnedictum. 

The Rev. J. W. Ilawkslcy (see tenor bell) was instituted in March, 1792 ; he 

died in Ai)ril, 1856. 



192 TJie hiscriptions on the 



SOUTHILL. 

All Saints. ^ Bf.lls. 

i_5. + JOHN BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 1814. 
(i. Diam. 29 in., height 21 in. 

2. Diam. 30 in., height 22 in. 

3. Diam. 32 in., height 24 in. 

4. Diam. 35 in., height 26 in. 

5. Diam. 37^ in., height 29 in.) 

6. MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON, 1867. 
(Diam. 42^ in., height 29^ in.) 

The following hangs on the walls of the belfry :— 
SOUTHHILL PARISH. 
Rules to be strictly observed by every one who enters this belfry. 
We ring the Quick to Church, the Dead to Grave, 
Good is our use, such usage let us have. 
He that wears Spur, or Hat, or Cap, or breaks a stay, 
Or from the floor does by a bell rope sway, 
Or leaves His rope down Careless on the floor : 
Or nuisance makes within the belfry Door, 
Shall six pence forfeit for each single Crime, 
Twill make him carefull at another Time. 
Whoever Breaks or injures any of the Handbells shall make the Damage good. 

We Gentleman Ringers are nobodys foes. 

We disturb none but those who want too much repose. 

Our music's so sweet, so enchanting to hear. 

We wish there was ringing each Day in the Year. 

/three seven minute peals Stop one minute 

To call the folks to Church in 3 between, toll the Tenor four minutes, ring 

time, we chime, \ ^^^ '^^"S Tang three minutes. Total \ an 

V hour. 

When Mirth and pleasure is on the wing we ring, 
At the Departure of a Soul we Toll. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 193 

f George Bryant. 

\\'illiam Litchfield. 

T,. John Litchfield. 

Ringers ' ;:, 

(jcorge Stacey. 

James Handscomb. 

James Finding. John Hale, Sexton. 

David Dickens, Parish Clerk. 

It would appear that when the above Rules were drawn up, there was a 

Priest's bell, or "Ting-Tang," now lost. 

STAGSDEN. 

S. Leonard. 5 Bells. 

1. AMOS BASS AND RICHARD COOK CHURCHWARDENS 

JOSEPH EAYRE FECIT 1769. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 21 in.) 

2, 3. CHANDLER MADE ME 1652. 

(Diams. 30^, 33 in., heights 22, 24^ in.) 

4. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1844. 

(Diam. 37^ in., height 26^ in.) 

5. WILLIAM MARKES AND [D 62] FRANCES [ D 62 ] HOVT 

CHVRCHWARDENS. HENRY IJACJLEY MADE ME 1C84. 
(Diam. J9 in., height 29 in.) 
For Stamp, see p. 78. 
In 1552 " Stachedenc " had : 

" Item iiij belles in the steple."* 

STANBRIDGE. 

S. John B.\ptlst. 5 I'ELls. 

1. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1709. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 27 in.) 

2. F : ELLINGHAM C : W : 

JOHN BRIANT HERTFORD FECIT 1807. 
(Diam. 32 in., height 26 in.) 

* Land Rcvditie Records. Lundle 1392. I'ilc 2. 1'. R.OiT. 
2 C 



194 ^^^' Inscriptions on the 

3- [ + 5^J] WILLIAM TRENTIS C.W. 1637 [IK 53]. 

(Diam. 35 in., height 29 in.) 

4. Be it known to all that do me se William Emerton of Wootton 

made me o o 1775- 

Thomas Eames 

T r^ Churchwardens 

John Cooper 

(Diam. 37 in., height 32 in.) 

5. GEORGE CHANDLER MADE ME 1725. 

(Diam. 39 in., height 33 in., unhung.) 

For Stamps, see p. 75. 

These bells are very good ones, and would, if put into good order, make a 
very nice ring. The tenor is, unfortunately, now unringable, having " dropped " 
on the stocks, and so requires rehanging. 

There is in this parish some land called " Bell Rope Land," situate at Mill- 
field. It is traditionally believed to have been left to the parish by Henry 
Honner, who, according to a tablet to his memory in the chancel of the church, 
died on the 27th of IMay, 1627, in the 95th year of his age. 

The income arising from Bell Rope Land, which stands in the names of the 
churchwardens in the Land Tax Assessment for 1880, does not now appear to 
be applied for the benefit of the bells, or in the purchase of the bell-ropes. 

STAUGHTON PARVA. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

1. MILES •". • GRAVE • .* • MADE • .' • ME • \ • 1654. 

(Diam. 2 7 J, in., height 22^ in., cracked.) 

2. LET ALL MEN PRAYSE THE LORD 1628. 

(Diam. 29I in., height 24 in.) 

3. JOS : EAYRE S"^ NEOTS FECIT. LEONARD VT^E AND ROBERT 

BAXTER CHURCH^yARDENS. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 26 in.) 

4- [+4] 3tf ^mncn X^wmiui ^ntcMcfum [+ 3 U 5 ]• 

(Diam. 34^ in., height 27 in.) 

5. MILES • ". • GRAVE • '. • MADE •'. ■ ME • .' • 1654. 
(Diam. 38^ in., height 30 in., no cannons.) 
For Stamps, see p. 45. The capitals of the inscription on the 4th bell are 
crowned. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 195 

STEPPINGLEV. 
S. Laurexce. 4 Bells. 

1. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1660. 

(Diam. 26 in., height 20 in.) 

2. 4. W . PHILTJPS . CHURCHWARDEN. R : TAYLOR S"" NEOTS. 

FOUNDER 1807. 

(Diams. 28, 34 in., heights 20 J,, 25^ in.) 

3. W : PHILLIPS & T : COOK. C : WARDENS. R : TAYLOR . S"" 

NEOTS. FECIT. 1814. 

And oil sound-bow : — 
J : PARKER : TIDCOMl) MY BENEFACTOR. 
(Diam. 31 in., height 22 in.) 
Mr. John Parker, Tidconibc — the benefactor to the 3rd bell — was l)aptizcd 
here on the 24th of November, 1739, ^"^ ^^'^^ buried here on the 26th of 
March, 1818. He was the son of Mr. John Tidconibc, who died in this 
parish and was buried here on the 3rd day of April, 1768, aged 59 years, and 
the grandson of " Mr.' Michael Tidconibc, gentleman," of Atworih, near Brad- 
ford, Wiltshire.* 

STEVINGTON. 

S. Mary. 5 Blll.s. 

1. JAMES BARWELL FOUNDER BIR^^N^.HAM 1S72. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 25 in.) 

2, 3. JOHN O HODSON O MADE O ME <> 1654 I L O H N 

O CHVRCH W. 

(Diams. 32, 35 in., heights 25!, 27 in.) 

4. JOHN O HODSON O MADE O MEE O 1654 O I I^ O H N 

OCWO WH 

(Diam. 38 in., hciglit 29 in.) 

5. JOHN O HODSON O ^L\DE O MEE O 1654 JOHN O 

LATTON O HENRY O NF(;OVS [ f ] W <> H O 
CHVRCH WARDENS. 

(Diam. 42 in., height 32 in. f Flcur-delys.) 

* Sleppingley Far. Re^.^ kindly supplieil by Kcv. Dr. Sniylh. 



196 The Inscriptions on the 

STONDON. 

All Saints. 1 Bell. 

The single bell here is small, and has no inscription. 



STOTFOLD. 

S. Marv. 3 Bells. 

I. THOMAS RUSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME : 

Richard Sexton ^ _ _ ^ 

, T- + Churchwardens 1740 O O O 

and John Fensham ' ^ w w v^ 

(Diam. 30 i in.) 



(Diam. 36^ in., wheel broken, not used.) 

3. MILES •.'• GRAVE •.'• MADE •.*• ME •!• 1615. 

(Diam. 38^1- in.) 

For Stamp on the 2nd bell, see p. 55. 

There is an impression in the village that there were formerly five bells here, 
and that one of the two missing ones now hangs at Astwick. 

It may be mentioned that a former Vicar of Stotfold — the Rev. Samuel 
Roe, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, the author of works against enthusiasm, 
etc. — was a ringer, being admitted a " Cambridge Youth" in 1733.* 

STREATLEY. 

S. AL\rgaret. I Bell & a Priest's Bell. 

I. T. Mears of London Fecit 1832. 

(Diam. 26 in.) 
Fricsfs Bell:— 

Blank. 
(Diam. 17 in.) 
There was formerly a second large bell, but it fell, whilst being rung, to the 
floor of the tower, broke into pieces, and was never replaced. 



See Dr. Raven's Bells of Cambridgeshire {2nd Ed.) p. 109. 



CImrch Bells of Bed/ordshiix. 197 

STUDHAM. 
S. jNIary. 4 Bells. 

I, 2. CHAHDLER MADE ME 1666. 

3. [ + 45] PRIES THE LORD 1599. 

4. [+55] GOD [DsS] SAVE [DsS] OVR [ D 5S ] KING [ D 5S J 

1627 [I K 53]. 

For Stamps, see pp. 68, 75 and 76. 

SUNDON. 

5. Mary. 1 Bell. 
I. [+29] j5SV:G [030] OliiXlIii. 

(Diam. 36 in.) 

For Stamps, see p. 55. 

It is said here that there were formerly five bells, and four were sold years 
ago to the parish of Toddington, since which time, it is further said, this place 
has never prospered. 

SUTTON. 

All Saints. 4 Bells. 

1, 3. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1S56. 

(Diams. 30, 32 in., heights 24, 24?, in.) 

2, 4. CHRISTOPHER •*. • GRAIE •'. • MADE ME 1655. 

(Diams. 31!, 35! in., heights 22^ 25 in.)j 

TEMPSFORD. 

S. Peter. 5 Bklls. 

1,3. MILES •'.' GRAIE -'.• 1656. 

(Diams. 26^, 29^ in., heights \^\, 23 in.) 
2. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1703. 
(Diam. 27^ in., height 20 in.) 

4. MEWCOME MADE ME A" 161 1. 

(Diam. 33^ in., height 24^ in.) 

5. T. Meaks of London Fecit 1S29. 

(Diam. 36^, in., height 26 J, in.) 



198 The Inscriptions on the 

THURLEIGH. 
S. Peter. 5 Bells. 

1. RUSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME 1743. 

+ Samuel Redman ^ 

„ „ Churchwardens. 

AND Richard Evins 

(Diam. 34 in., height 24 in.) 

2. ©OX) [ D 40 1 Hii-X^er [ D 40 ] W^G [ D 40 ] 

OTite-e-:i?ier [n4o] 1593 [u 39]. 

(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 

3. OLLIVER HARVE ESQVIRE. GEORGE FRANCKLIN JVSTIS 

OF PEACE 1595 + 

RECAST BY PARISHIONERS 1864. THE ORIGINAL IN- 
SCRIPTION RESTORED BY THE MARQUIS OF BRISTOL 
AND JOHN HARVEY OF ICKWELLBURY ESQUIRE. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 27?^ in.) 

4. Blank. 

(Diam. 36I in., height 30 in.) 

5. [ + 29] j^-^^ \ XIli5.Xi^J5L. 

(Diam. 43 in., height 35 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 61, 60 and 55, and for specimens of the letters on the 
2nd bell, see p. 59. 

The Herveys were seated here as early as the reign of Edward I., when 
John de Hervey, having married Joan, daughter and heir of John Harman, of 
Thurleigh, died here in the 2 ist year of that King's reign. From him descended 
George Hervey, who was High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. He married, having 
issue by his wife only one daughter, Joan, who (though married) died appa- 
rently in her father's life-time, without issue. George Hervey, however — 
according to Lysons — had an illegitimate son, Gerard, by Margaret Smart. 
By his will, proved in 1526, he left certain property to that Margaret Smart for 
her life, remainder to her son Gerard and his heirs, and also to the same 
Gerard his manor of Thurleigh. Gerard Smart took the name of Hervey, was 
Knighted, and was M.P. for Bedford in 1553 : his grandson was the " Olliver 
Harve, Esquire," whose name is on the 3rd bell. His descendants continued 



Chttrch Bells of Bedfordshire. 1 99 

at Thurleigh till the death of John Hervey, Esq., in 1715, but the manor had 
passed out of the family before that time. From Thomas Hervey, a younger 
brother of George Hervey above mentioned, are descended the Herveys of 

Ickworth, Earls of Bristol. 

The Franklins had a seat here for several generations.* 

Here are the following 

Rules for Rinxers. 
If to ring you do come Here 
You must ring well with Hand and Ear 
And if a Bell you chance to Throw 
Six-Pence to Pay before you go — 
And if you Ring in Spurs or Hat 
Twelve-Pence in all to pay for that. 

TILBROOK. 
All Saixts. 3 Bells. 

i. MATTHEW BAGLEY MAGE MEE 16S2 O O O O O 
(Diam. c;! in., height 22 in.) 

2. OLIVER S'^JOHN COOPER RECTOR. G JAMES AND JOIIX 

SANSAM CHURCHWARDENS 1763. 
(Diam. 29 in., height 24^ in.) 

3. NON CLAMOR SED AMOR CANTAT IN AVRE lED 1625. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 24J, in.) 

The letters of " Dei " on the 3rd bell are reversed. 

The Parish Register has the following entries relating to the Rector named 
on the 2nd bell : — 

O S' John Cooper was inducted into the Rectory 
of Tilbrooke March the 26''' 1738. 
Oliver S' John Cooper Rector of Tilbrook was buried 
in the Parish Church Nov'^'' i, lySi.t 

* See a pedigree of llic Hervey family in SUiiiniala C/tii/u/iaiiii ; and bcc also " Lysoiis," 
vol. i. p. 140. 

t Kindly extracted for me by the Rev. N. D. Voung, the present Rector. 



200 TJic Inscriptions on the 

TILSWORTH. 

All Saints. 5 Bells. 

1,4. EMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1776. 

(Diams. 29, 32 in., heights 21, 26 in.) 

2. JOHN SWINSTEAD D : ELLINGHAM WARDEN. 
W: EMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1776. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 23 in.) 

3. EMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT Q O 

DANIEL ELLINGHAM CHURCHWARDEN 1776. 

WiLLLVM Balls 
John Oney 
Henry Purrett 
Thomas Skikelthorp. 
(Diam. 31 in., height 25 in.) 

5. EMERTON OF WOOTON ^ ^ Daniel Ellingham Churchwarden 
NEAR BEDFORD FECIT ^^^ John Partridge senor 

John Partridge junor 
WiLLiAiM Dover. 
(Diam. 34 in., height 27 in., cracked.) 
The parishioners of Tilsworth were formerly proud of their bells and their 
excellent ringers ; but for some years the bells were only heard upon absolutely 
necessary occasions. The tenor was cracked in a thunder-storm, and in con- 
sequence was not used; in 1821, however, a piece fell out, and the sound 
greatly improved. Recently (in 1880) the whole ring was rehung, and now 
again the ringers are at work, and the sound of their bells again cheers the 
Tilsworth folk. 

There is an excellent set of rules for the guidance of the ringers. 

TINGRITH. 

S. Nicholas. 3 Bells. 

1. Jolitt $ Mcr $ ntatic $ iliis $ bcII 3 

(Diam. 28 in., height 20} in.) 

2. CHRISTOPHER GRAVE MADE ME 1660. 

(Diam. 29^- in., height 22^ in.) 



Church Bells of Jhdfordshire. 20 r 

3. [U9+ 10] .iranct.-t .(TMriMrcfa Or.i ;pr'r Tiobir. [QSj. 
(Diam. 32^ in., height :;4 in.) 
For Stamps on the 3rd bell, see pp. 46 and 47. 
In 1552 " Tyngrythe " possessed 

Item in the stepuU of the saide churclie iij belles weyngc by estymation 
XXV hundred wyght.* 

It may be noticed that the stone of the arched doorway leading up to the 
bells is much worn away, as if some one had sat upon the stairs and there 
chimed the bells, chafing the ropes against the stone. Such was really the 
case prior to the restoration of the church, when "old Jim Smart," the then 
sexton, fearing that the clappers of the bells, which were then unsafe, might fall 
upon him, adopted that plan as a means of precaution against such an acci- 
dent. The bells were afterwards reclappcred ; the old clappers are now in the 
bell-chamber, and the bells arc all in good order and sound. 

TODDINGTON. 
S. George. S P>ei.i.s and a Priest's Bell. 

1. C. & G. MEARS FOUNDERS LONDON 1850. 

(Diam. 30^- in., height 23 in.) 

2, 3, 4, 8. ThC^ Mears Late Lester Pack & Chapman of London Fecit 

1792 Tho^ Hollis & Harry Osborn Churchwardens. 
(Diams. 31^, 33, 35!, 51^ in., heights 23?,, 25, 26, 35 A in.) 

5, 6. Tno'' Mears Late Lester Pack cV' Chatman ok London I'lcir (792. 
(I)iams. 38J,, 41 in., height 28^, 30 in.) 

7. Tho'' Mears of London Late Lester Pack iV Ciiap.man Yvcw 1792. 

(Diam. 45 in., height x,i in.) 
Priest's Bdl .■— 

CHANDLER MADE ME. 

(Diam. 16! in., height 13 in.) 

See under Sundon for a tradition relating to these bells : the parish docu- 
ments here having been lost there are no proofs for or against it-; truth. 

Merc are chimes for the (juarters, pi iced in 1S76 at the expense of the Kcv. 
John Clcgg. 

* Land Kcvcmic Records. Buiullc 1392, l"ilc 2. 1'. K. OfT. 
2 D 



202 TJie Inscriptions on the 

TOTTERNHOE. 
S. Giles. 5 Bells 

1. CHAPIDLER MADE ME 1655. 

(Diam. 30 in., height 26 in.) 

2. C.\ST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1865. 

[ Royal XJ Arms?[ 

Patent. 

(Diam. 31 in., height 26 in.) 

3. 4, 5. CHAI^DLER MADE ME 1654. 

(Diams. ZZ^ 35, 38 in., height 26, 30, 31 in.) 

The tenor bell is badly cracked, and is now without a clapper. A few years 
ago the clapper fell out, and it was sent to a blacksmith to repair. He, think- 
ing to improve it, made it longer and larger, in consequence of which, when 
replaced in the bell, it struck below the sound-bow, and after striking a few 
times broke and ruined the bell : a warning to all in whose care bells are 
placed to employ competent persons for their repair. 

TURVEY. 

All Saints. 6 Bells. 

1. G. MEARS & Co. FOUNDERS LONDON. 

PRESENTED TO HIS BROTHER PARISHIONERS BY L^. COL. 
W. B. HIGGINS, OF PICTS HILL, TURVEY, SEPTEMBER, 
1864. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 27 in.) 

2. THOMAS BURTON AND JOSEPH OSMOND CHVRCH- 

WARDENS, 1682. 

{Diam. 31 in., height 28 in.) 

3. HENRY BAGLEY MADE MEE 1682. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 27 in.) 

4. -f- -h R : HOPLEY RECTOR T : DAVISON AND W :SKEVING- 

TON CHURCHWARDENS h- J : EAYRE S^ NEOTS FECIT 

1750- 

(Diam. 38^- in., height 28 J in.) 

5. W & J TAYLOR BELLFOUNDERS OXFORD & LOUGHBORO'. 

(Diam. 41 in., height 30 in.) 



Church Bells of Dcdfordshire. 203 

6. T : LATTAMS & W : PEARSON C : WARDENS R TAYLOR 
ST NEOTS FECIT 1815. 
(Diam. 46 in., height 34 in., large piece out of shoulder.) 

Prior to 1864, when Colonel Higgins gave a new treble, there were five bells 
only. The donor died in the autumn of 1S7S. 

There was formerly a Sanctus bell, which, after standing for many years on 
the floor of the chancel, was sent to the founders and added to the tenor in 
18 1 5, when that bell was recast. 

The Rev. R. Hopley (see 4th bell) is said to have been instituted in June, 
1745.* P^om the Registers, however, it would appear that the only resident 
clergyman between 1727 and 1750 was "Matthew Keate, curate." Mr. 
Hopley's handwriting first appears in the latter year. He was succeeded by 
the Rev. J. Griffith in June, 1764, so probably he died in that year, but there 
is no record of his burial. 

In the ringing-chamber are three memorial tablets to deceased ringers ; such 
a mode of remembrance might well be adopted in other churches. There is 
also an oil painting depicting the scene described in S. John x.\i. 21. It was 
given to the church by the Rev. Erasmus Middleton, instituted Rector in 1S03, 
and had been placed over the altar-table, where it remained until the church 
was restored in i852.t 

WARDEN, OLD. 
S. Andrew. 4 Bells. 

1. MILES •!• GRAVE • .' • MADE •.'• ME •]• 1653. 

(Diam. 29^ in., height 22^ in., cracked.) 

2. VBCD [t] H5XA [t] IIIKTIM [ + ] GHIK W. 

(Diam. 32^ in., height 25 in. :J: Fkur dc-lys.) 

3- [ + 28] -xl^ : j^T^X)X ; t\<^>^^ 

(Diam. 36 in., height 28 in.) 
4. THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER LONDON 1S40. 
(Diam. 39^, in., height 29! in.) 
For Stamp on 3rd bell, see p. 55. 

The friend who inspected the bells for me writes :— " Horrible place to get 
up; nearly pitch dark ; the steepest ladder I have ever been up." 

* History of IVillcy Hundred. t Ex in/or, llio Kcv. G. T. W. Munhy. 



204 ^^^^ Inscriptions on the 

WESTONING. 

S. Mary Magdalen. 5 Bells. 

1. ANTHONY CHANDLER MADE ME 1672. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 24 in.) 

2. + RUSSELL OF WOOTTON O O O INLADE + ME 1743- 

(Diam. 33 in., height 25 in.) 

3. T. Mears of London Fecit 1829. 

W" Woodward ) ^ ,,, ^ 

,, , Church Wardens 1S29. 

Ld Aldridge j 

(Diam. 34^- in., height 26 in.) 

4. RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1722. 

(Diam. 36} in., height 28^^ in.) 

5. RUSSELL OF WOOTTON HE MADE ME IN SEVENTEEN 

HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE + JOSEPH HARLEY 
AND EDWARD BURR CHURCHWARDENS O O O 
(Diam. 41 in., height 32 in.) 

In the *' Inventory of plate^ jewels, vestments, ornaments, and bells belong- 
ing to the parish church of Westonynge, in the county of Bedford, made 
2 Sept., 6 Ed. 6 " (1552) is : — 

Item in the stepull of the seyde churche iiij belles to [two] of the seyde 
belles weyng by estymation xvij hundred and a half, the other to 
grete belles xx'* hundred by estimation and a saunce bell, to hand 
belles. Item to sacarynge belles. Item the churche chauncell 
steple all covered w' leed.* 

WHIPSNADE. 

8. Marv Magdalen. 3 Bells. 

1. E. HALL 1740. 

2. a. HALL 1740. 

3. GOD SAVE OVR KING 1630. 
These are three small bells. 

"•■ Land Rrc'cnuc Records. Bundle 1392, File 2, P. R. Oft". 



Chiu'ch Bells of Bedfordshire. 20 = 



WILDEiX. 

S. Nicolas. 5 Bells, 

1. A SMITH \V GROVE 1649. 

(Diam. 30^ in., licight 25 in.) 
-■ L + 6] .S'lncfa Kafrhut Ova ;r>vu \ ),iiliis [ D S U 7 ]• 
(Diam. 32 in., height 24 in., cracked.) 

3 i5^PB€T:E) ei-C5Ti J-X^y^ iJXXXO [U39] 
(Diam. 34 in., height 27 in.) 

4. CHANDLER MADE IslE. 

(Diam. 37 in., heiglit 27 in.) 

5. IH'5 NAZARENUS REX IVDEORVM FILI DEI MISERERE MEI 

1637 [U 39]- 

(Diam. 40 in., liciglit 32 in.) 

For Stamps, see pp. 46 and 60, and for specimens of letters on the 3rd and 

511-1 bells, see pp. 59 and 63. 

A. Smith and W. Grove (see ist \)c\\) were the cluin hwardens at that time, 
as is shown by their initials cut on a beam in the belfr)-, tlius : — 

AS : WG : G : 1G50. 

WILLIXGTON. 
S. L.vuRENCE. 5 Bells. 

I. u»ij:i:i^ij^xii c3^o.Svru.j:c;;L^ o i - u. i i . i . - 

XMG^OX^ 1600 [U39]- 

(Diam. 2 7 J, in., height 21! in.) 

2. THOMAS TOMPION FECIT 1671. 

(Diam. 28! in., height 21 J in., cracked). 

3. SIR : WILLIAM ; (ToSTWICK \ BARN ; W ll.LLXG rG.\ ; 

1710 ;••;••;••; o o o o o o o 

(Diam. 31 in., height 24 in.) 

4- ;} 19S1 3 Ma ;> aavM 3 vavci 3 zhoi 

(Diam. 35 in., height 27 in.) 

5. O X-Tlarttu Xiuifnrc .1 >i-n ruuii'-^ .^ciiu'cv (^iMlc[+ 157 i<i 

U 14]- 
(Diam. 38! in., height 31! in., large piece out of the sound-bow.) 



2o6 The Inscripiions on the 

For Stamps, see pp. 60 and 50, and for specimens of the letters on the 1st 
bell, see p. 59. 

The inscription on the 4th bell is reversed throughout : that cannot be 
entirely shown in ordinary type. 

The Oostwicks (see ist and 3rd bells) were living here early in the thirteenth 
century ; there is a memorial brass in the church to the memory of Robert 
Oostwick, who died a century later — in 1315. Leland mentions, " Mf" Gost- 
wick beyng borne at AMIlingtoun," and that he " boute this lordship of the 
Duke of Norfolk, now lyving, and hath made a sumptuous new building of 
brike & tymbre a fundi/ncntis in it, with a conduct of water derivid in leade 
pipes." Sir John Gostwick was Master of the Horse to Henry VHI. He 
built—in 1 54 1 — the mortuary chapel attached to the chancel of Willington 
church, in which various members of his family are buried. His descendant, 
William Gostwick — whose name is on the ist bell — was lord of the manor of 
Willington, and was created a baronet in 161 2. He died in 16 15, aged 49 
years, and is buried in the mortuary chapel just mentioned. There is a hand- 
some monument there to his memory, in good preservation, with a recumbent 
figure of him in alabaster, with a wooden canopy over it, erected by his widow 
Jane, daughter of Henry Owen, Esq., by whom he had seven sons and four 
daughters. His descendant, Sir William Gostwick — whose name is on the 
3rd bell — long represented the county of Bedford in Parliament. Having 
impoverished his estate by frequent election contests, this manor, amongst 
others, was sold in 1731 to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. It is now the 
property of the Duke of Bedford, whose ancestor bought it of the Marlborough 
family in 1774. There is a portrait of this Sir Wm. Gostwick at Mr. Whit- 
bread's, Southill, with a warning subscript against electioneering extravagance. 
He was the last buried in the family vault here. There is no monument to 
his memory, but when the vault gave way some years ago, his coffin was 
exposed, and the present vicar saw the silver plate on it bearing the name of 
Sir William Gostwick, of Willington Park.* The title and family are now 
extinct. 

WILSHAMPSTEAD. 

All Saints. i Bell and a Priest's Bell. 

I. EMMERTON OF WOOTTON FECIT 1783 O O O O 

* Ex ill/or. Rev. Augustus Orlebar, vicar of the parish. 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 207 

Priesfs Bell:— 

GEORGE MORTON C" WARDEN 1S26. 
There were formerly four bells and a Priest's bell. The following extracts 
from the fly-leaf of the Parish Register ex[)lain how three of them were lost to 
the parish : — 

Memorandum. The Tower fell down on Sunday night, April 11, 1742, 
at half an hour after 9. 

The Bricklayers and Carpenters Estimate to make good y^ breach in 
the church which the Tower made in falling, and to hang up one bell, 
the old materials included, 45/. o o. 

Charles Boomer, Thomas \\"hite. ] 

John White. John Rentham. 

July 17''^ 1742. 

The Bricklayers and Carpenters Estimate to rebuild the Tower, 

finding workmanship and all materials, 474/. 12. 

After these entries is the Bishop's license to sell the bells, thus : — 

Having considered the extent of y*^ disaster, and the inability of the 
Parishioners to repair the steeple according to its ancient dimensions, 
and confiding in the Vicar's representation, I ap[)rove of their 
repairing the downfall according to this latter scheme, and consent 
y' the \'icar and Churchwardens may sell three of their bells towards 
their expence on this occasion. 

R. Lincoln, 

Sept^ 17, I 74-. 

The three bells were sold for £,s,^ to, as is generally believed, the vicar and 
churchwardens of Hendon, Middlesex. As might be expected, the following 
distich soon became current : — 

Wilstead folks, wicked people. 
Sold their bells to build the steeple. 

That steeple was an open wooden one, in which the two bells hung exposed 
to the air. The present tower was not built until the year 1S51. 



208 



The Inscriptions on the 



WOBURN [Old Church.] 
S. Mary. 8 Bells. 

I, 2. MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON, 1877. 

(Diams. 26, 27^ in.) 

3, 4, 5, 7, 8. T. Mears of London Fecit 1829. 

(Diams. 32I, 34I, 36, 40, 42 in.) 

0. His Grace John 5T11 Duke of Bedford. The Rev" Thomas Rov. 

Joseph Tween \ 

;„ ^ Church Wardens a d 1820. 

William Freeman J 

T Mears of London Fecit 1829. 

The Monastery here appears to have possessed five bells (see p. 17). 

According to an Liventory taken in 1651 there were then 

Three broken Bells with Clappers. 
One whole Bell. 

One iron Clock with a Bell proper to it. 
One Saint's Bell. 

Shortly afterwards four broken bells are mentioned. 

In 1664 the bells were recast at an expense of about p/^120, of which ;^9o 
was given by the Earl of Bedford. 

In 1724 a fifth bell was added, or the clock bell utilized as a ringing bell. 

In 1S29, two of the five bells being broken, and the others out of tune, 
they were taken down and sent to the Whitechapel foundry, from which the 
present larger six bells were received and hung in time to be rung on the 
Proclamation of William IV. as King. The following are the weights of these 
bells (the present 3 — 8) as taken down at the time of the late Mr. John Price, 
and preserved in his diary : — 













cu^ts. 


qrs. 


tbs. 


Treble i. 


(present 


3) - 


5 


2 


7 


1 xn 

.-5 ^ 


2. 






4) ... 


6 





2 


^ & 


3- 






5) •- 


6 


I 


4 


4_> ri 
















fx."^ - 


4- 






6) ... 


7 


I 


n 


:s 


5- 






7) ... 


9 


3 


26 


Tenor 


6. 






8) ... 


12 


-^ 
J 


19 



48 o 19 
In 1877 the ring was increased, as the bells show, to eight, by the addition 



Church Bells of Bedfordshire. 209 

of two trebles; the augmented ring was opened on the i6th of April in that 
year. 

In 1829, when the churcli tower was being rebuilt, and the five bells were 
taken down to be recast, the Saint's bell mentioned in the 1651 Inventory, 
and which hung in an " open cupola supported by eight pilasters " on the top 
of the tower, was removed (with the Fire-Ik-ll from the old Town Hall) to the 
Park Farm, from which it was subsequently stolen. 

It has been pointed out that there is an error in the inscription on the 6ih 
bell. The Duke of Bedford thereon mentioned was the 6ih, not the 5th, 
Duke. 

The bells here hang in two tiers of four each ; the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and tenor 
hang below, and the ist, 2nd, 4th and 6th above. The clock strikes on the 
6th : the small space in the tower has necessitated great care in the hanging 
of the bells. The ringing chamber (as well as its ap])roaches) is in excellent 
order, is a model of cleanliness, and a pattern of what such a place should be. 

The bells arc fitted with " Seage's Tell Tales," which enable the ringers to 
practise as much and as long as they choose, without causing any annoyance 
to the people living in the close neighbourhood of the tower. 

WOBURN [New Church]. 
S. Mary, i Ef.i.i- 

I. MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON 1S67. 
(Diam. d-^ in., height 43 ia, weight 2 tons 15 cwts.) 
This is the largest bell in the county. 

WOOTTON. 

S. Mary. 5 Bells and a Priest's Beli_ 

I. WILLIAM EMMERTON OF WOOTTON FECFT 1779. 

(Diam. 34 in., height 24 in.) 

2,4. I : TAYLOR & Co. FOUNDERS LOUCilllU )l<()HiII 1S74. 

(Diams. 35^1-, 41^ in., heights 27, 29J, in.) 

3. Thomas Rvssell : 

IX. 11 r ecu- 

William Rvssell : 

Stephen Hvdson : ,, , rs r\ r^ f->. 

^ Chvkciiwakhkns i7;6 (J (J U (J 

Benjaman Rainbow : 

ChKISTOI'HEK Fl.EMlNC; O O C 

'i'HOMAS Si.ArvR John Si.aiku O O O O O 
(Diam. 38I in., height 28! in.) 
2 K 



2IO The Inscriptions on the 

5. [+56] GOD SAVE OVR KING 1641 J H, 
(Diam. 44 in., height 34 in.) 

Piicifs Bdl {in turret) : — 

1748. • 
(Diam. 14 in., hciglit 11 in.) 
For Stamp on the 5th bell, see p. 75. 

On the back of an old book belonging to the church are the following dates 
of the bells : we learn from the list the date of the previous 4th bell : — 

Treble Bell i779- 

Second [no date or description, so the bell was probably a pre- 

Reformation one]. 
Third ... ... ... 1736. 

Fourth 1595. 

Tenor ... ... ... 1641. 

Sanctus ... ... 1748. 

WRESTLINGWORTH. 

S. Peter. i Bell. 

I. R. TAYLOR & SON FOUNDERS ST NEOTS 1820 I : FOBIGG 
C : W. 

(Diam. 28^ in., height 20 in.) 
There are frames for two more bells which arc now wanting. 

WYMINGTON. 

S. Laurence. 6 Bells. 

1. THE GIFT OF STEPHEN WOLLASTON ESQ. TO THE PARISH 

CHURCH OF WYMINGTON BEDFORDSHIRE IN HONOR 
AND PRAISE OF GOD, 1873. WILLIAM MONK RECTOR. 
WILLIAM BLEWS AND SONS FOUNDERS BIRMINGHAM. 
(Diam. 27^ in., heights 23 in., unhung.) 

2. L TAYLOR FECIT LOUGHBRO' LATE OF ST NEOTS 1843. 

(Diam. 30^7 in., height 25 in.) 

3. ^I^omrn XH'i0i»*^Ic"'t (STniupana Grrcf xrifti?i>i> [U 12 D 10 U 13]- 

(Diam. 34 in., height 28 in.) 

4. HH ^mnrn X)i^»ti»i X^nttMiium [U ^^ D 10 U 13]- 

(Diam. 37 in., height 28 in.) 



CJmrcJi Bells of BcilfordsJiirc. 2 i 1 

5. XXlusa Xl'if.iclir. .Suuaf j i.uvilms ^'(T) auliclii-i [7 1 2 □ i o "7 1 3]. 

(Diam. 39 in., heiyht 29 in.) 

6. JOHN ACHURCH C : WARDEN. K : 'IWYLOR S'" NEOTS . 

FECIT . 18 14. 

(Diam. 44 in., height 30J, in.) 
For Stamps on the 3rd, 4th and 5th bells, see pp. 47 and 50. 
Prior to 17S3 there were five bells only. In that year an additional treble 
bell was given, as shown above. Though presented to the parish, it has not 
yet — 1 88 1 — been hung, but stands on the floor of the church. 

According ioWeexer {Fi/tii-ral Afouiii/iiiifs, Introd. cxix.) — who, however, is 
not quite correct in his copies of the inscriptions on the present ancient bells — 
the two recast (2nd and 6th) were previously inscribed : — 

2. Hoc signum Petri pulsatur nomine Christi. 
6. Sum rosa pulsata mundique Maria vocata. 

There is said to have been formerly also a Sanctus bell here, inscribed : — 
George ora pro nobis. 

YIELUEN. 

S. Marv. 4 l>i:i-i-J^- 

1. T. & J. E.VYRE FECERUNT. 

GRATA SIT ARGUTA RESONANS CAMI'.Wri.A VOCE Q R '- 
CELL & W : SAMWORTH CHURCHWARDENS O OCT013 
1717. 

(Diam. 2 7 J, in., height 2 2 J, in.) 

2. BRYANVS ELDRID(;E ME FECIT 1660. 

(Diam. 29 in., height 22J, in.) 

3. PRAISE THE LORD 1617. 

(Diam. 32 in., height 23 A in.) 

[ u 39 ]• 

(Diam. 34 in., height 25 in.) 
For Stamp and specimens of letters on the 4lh bell, see pp. Co and 59. 



GOD'S APPOINTMENT 

IS 

MY CONTENTMENT. 



INDEX 



.<► — 



AniNc.nox, ancient bells at, J. 

Advent ringing, 107. 

Jviiclwolil, S., casts bells, J. 

Agnus-l)t;ll, 103. 

Anipthill, a bell foundry at, 42, 122. 

Aiiipthill bells, 42, 79, 87, 91, 96, 114. 

Aiii^c/iis, the, 104. 

Anthern bell, I02. 

Arlesey bells, 21, 89, 107, 107, loS, 109, 122. 

Arnold, Edu-ard, a bellfounder, 65, 79. 

Ascension-day peals, loS. 

Asjdey Guise bells, 87, 91, 94, 97, 107, 107, 

loS, 124. 
Astwick bell, 125. 

Atton, Bartholomew, a bellfounder, 73. 
Atton, Robert, a bellfounder, 73. 
Atton, William, a bellfounder, 73. 
Atton, William and Son, bellfounders, 73. 



AGLEV, Henry, a bellfounder, 77. 
aglcy, Henry (2nd), a bellfoundci', 77. 
agley, Matthew, a bellfounder, 77. 
agley, William, a bellfounder, 77. 
inns peals, no. 

IJaptism " of bells, 4. 
arford, Great, bells, 63, 96, 107, 107, 112, 

125. 
arford, Little, bells, 126. 
artlett, Anthony, a bellfounder, 82. 
.irllett, James, a bellfounder, S2. 
artlett, Thomas, a bellfounder, 82. 
:irton le-Clay bells, 40, 88, 94, 107, 107, 

109, 113, 127. 

arwell, James, a bellfounder, 80. 
altlesden bells, 97, 103, 113, 127. 
attlesden house-lieli, 82. 
ede (a.D. 680) mentions bells, 3. 
edford Ringers, " Ejiigram " to, 23- 
edford Ringers, an " l!.\astickc " presented 



Bedford, S. Mary's, bells, 36, 41, 51, 62, SS, 

92, 96, 114, 114, 131. 

Bedford, .S. I'aui's, bells, 2S, S2, 91, qO, 104, 

106, 112, 1 14, 128. 
Bedford, S. I'etcr's, bells, 62, SS, 91, 92, 92, 

93, 113, 114, 130. 

Bedford, S. Cuthbert's, bell, 91, 96, 132. 
Bedford, S. John Baptist, bell, 1 31. 
Bedford, Holy Trinity, bell, 132, 
Bedfordshire bells, tcm/<. Ed, \T., ccrlificale 

mi.ssing, 10. . 
Bedfordshire chantries, certificate relating to, 

10. 
Bedfordshire bells, commission relating to, 

in 1552, II, 19. 
Bedfordshire religious houses, bells bclon^j- 

ing to some, 16. 
Bedfordshire, ringing in, 22. 
Betlfordshire Association of Change-ringers, 

32, 115- 
Bedfordshire, Church Bells of, ^y 
Beuford.^hire bellfounders, 37. 
Bedfordshire bells, other ftjunders of, 43, 
Bedfordshire bells, peculiar uses of, 85. 
Bedfordshire bells, Latin Inscriptions on, with 

translations, 1 1 7. 
Bedfordshire bells, Latin inscriptions on, 121. 
Bellfounders, Bedfordshire, 37. 
Bells, use of, universal, 2. 
Bells cast in churches and churchyards, 4. 
Bells, benediction of, 4. 
Bells, forms of in-icrijition on, 6. 
Bells, oldest dated in Engl.md, 6, 
Bells, how used before the Reformation, S, S6. 
Bells, ancient, why scarce, 21, 
Bells formerly rung by the ilc.icons, 87, 
Benediction of belU, 4. 
Bett, Thom.a.s, a bellfounder, 57. 
Biddenham bells, 91, IIO, 132. 
Biggleswade bells, 96, 107, loS, 133. 



214 



Index. 



liillinglon bell, 133. 

llingliam, Notts, a bell at, 60. 

]Jirming]iani bcllfounders, So. 

IJietsoe l)clls, 66, 133. 

]!le\vs ami Son, bellfounders, 80. 

liiunham bells, 40, 40, 62, 88, 91,93,96, 107, 

109, III, 112, 113, 134. 
Bolniuiist bells, 35, 112, 135. 
Bracker, Austen, a bellfounder, 52. 
Briaiit, John, a bellfounder, 70. 
Bride's jieal, the, 1 10. 
Bromhani bells, 66, 136. 
Buckingham, bellfoundry at, 73. 
BuMisdon, — , a bellfounder, 53. 
" Bunyan's bell," 36, 80. 
Burial peals, 1 00. 
Bushmead Priory, bells of, 17, 18. 
Bydenhambridge, Chantry of, bells, II. 

Caddington bells, S3, 91, 92, 97, 137. 
Caldwell Priory, bells of, 17, 18. 
Cainpana, a large bell, 2. 
Canipton bells, 35, 35, 43, 62, 1 38. 
Canons of Church of England on bells, 85. 
Canonical hours, ringing of, 3, 90. 
Cardington bells, 65, S3, 87, 91, 92, 93, 98, 

loi, 106, 107, 109, 112, 113, 138. 
Carlton bells, 6, 35, 35, 53, 57, b2, 87, 92, 

96, 107, 112, 112, 113, 114, 140. 
Carter, Joseph, a bellfounder, 82. 
Carter, William, a bellfounder, 82. 
Castle Ashby, Northants, a bell at, 52. 
Chacombe, Is'orthants, a bellfoundry at, 77. 
Chalgrave bells, 35, 53, 75, 97, 114, 140. 
Chandler, Anthony, a bellfounder, 71. 
Chandler, George, a bellfounder, 72. 
Chandler, Richard, a bellfounder, 70. 
Chandler, Richard (2nd), a bellfounder, 72, 
Chandler, Richard (3rd), a bellfounder, 72. 
('hapman and Mears, bellfounders, 83. 
Chellington bells, 35, 56, 73, 74, 76, 87, 92, 

96, 112, 112, 113, 114, 141. 
Chelsea, a bellfoundry at, 78. 
Chertsey, a bellfoundry at, 77. 
Chicksand Priory, bells of, 17, 18. 
Chiming at funerals, lOO. 
China, bells used in, 2. 

Christians, early, mode of calling together, i. 
Church bells, i. 

Clapham bells, 35, 76, 96, 114, 141. 
Clarke, John, a bellfounder, 67. 
Claughton, Lancashire, early dated bell at, 6. 
Clay, Thomas, a bellfounder, 65. 
Clifton bells, 35, 36, 58, 89, 99, 112, 142. 
Clophill bells, 75, 97, 143. 



Colchester, a bellfoundry at, 74. 

Cold Ashby, Northants, early dated bell at, 6. 

Colmworth bells, 74, 75, 76, 144. 

Commemorative Services, loi. 

Common or mote-bell, 113. 

Coplc bells, 7, 34, 50, 75, 89, 100, 107, 107, 

109, 114, 144. 
Corse-bell, 104. 
Cranfield bells, 41, 81, 81, 88, 91, 97, 103, 

105, 106, 107, 108, 108, III, 113, 114, 145. 
Croyland Abbey, bells at, 3. 

Culverden, William, a bellfounder, 44. 
Curfew-bell, 103, 104. 

Daily Service, a bell to be tolled for, 85. 

Daily bells, other, 105. 

Dean bells, 6i, 62, 77, 98, 107, 108, 145. 

Death-knell, the, 99. 

Dedication peals, 109. 

Diameters of bells, guides to their weights, 

120. 
Dier, John, a bellfounder, 67. 
" Dinner-bell," 93. 

Divine Service, modes of ringing for, 87. 
Dobson, William, a bellfounder, 80. 
Downham Market, a bellfoundry at, 80. 
Drayton Parslow, Bucks, a bellfoundry at, 70. 
Dunstable bells, 6, 34, 56, 83, 88, 91, 92, 97, 

102, 102, 107, III, 113, 114, 146. 
Dunstan, S., casts bells, and draws up Rules 

for ringing, 3. 
Dunton bells, 68, 97, 112, 114, 147. 

Early Sunday peals, 90. 

Early Morning-bell, 104. 

Easter peals, 108. 

Eaton Bray bells, 70, 72, 148. 

Eaton Socon bells, 69, 78, 79, 80, 148. 

Eayre, Joseph, a bellfounder, 79. 

Eayre, Thomas and John, bellfounders, 79. 

Eayre, Thomas, a bellfounder, 79. 

Eayre, Thomas (2nd), a bellfounder, 79. 

Ecton, Northants, a bellfoundry at, 77. 

Edmunds, Islip, a bellfounder, 83. 

Edworth bells, 7, 34, 41, 54, 68, 99, 149. 

Egbert (A.D. 750) mentions bells, 3. 

Egginton bells, 71, 92, 97, 107, 114, 149. 

I-^ldridge, Bryan, a bellfounder, 77. 

Elstow Nunnery, bells of, 17. 

Elstow bells, 36, 40, 62, 80, 150. 

Emmerton, William, a bellfounder, 38. 

Epiphany peals, 108. 

Eversholt bells, 87, 91, 97, 103, 105, 105, 

106, 107, loS, loS, 108, loS, loS, 109, 
151. 



Index. 



21 



Execution bell, 112. 
Eyeworth bells, 7, 35, 49, 152. 

Fair peals, no. 

Fandish bells, 35, 60, 74, 75, 91, 152. 
Felmeisham bells, 40, 41, 63, 153. 
Fire-bell, 103, 112. 
Flitton bells, 153. 

Flitwick bells, 67, 75, 91, 96, loi, 107, 107, 
109, 153- 

Gabriel-bell, 105. 

nieanlng-bell, the, 112. 

Goldington bells, 40, 62, 62, 87, 96, 107, 1 13, 

114/154- 
r.ood P'riday use, loS. 
Gravenhurst, Upper, bells, 154. 
Gravenhurst, Lower, bell, 82, 99, 114, 154. 
Graye, Christopher, a bellfounder, 41. 
Graye, Miles, a bellfounder, 42, 74. 
(Jreeks used bells, 2. 
Gunpowder Plot, ringing on 5th Nov., 113. 

Hall, Edward, a bellfounder, 72. 

Hand-bells, 103. 

Harlington bells, 14, 35, 35, 35, 44. 58, 91, 

92, 97, 107, 107, 109, 109, 113, 155. 
Ilariold Priory, bells of, 17, iS. 
llarrold bells, 62, 62, 71, 81, 87, 96, loO, 

106, 112, 112, 113, 155. 
Hatley Cockayne bells, 114, 156. 
Ilaulsey, Richard, a bellfounder, 68. 
Hawnes bells, 7, 34, 75,88, 91, 99, 113, 156. 
Heath and Reach bell, 157. 
Henlow bells, 75, 157. 
Hertford, bellfoundries at, 70, 70. 
Higham Gobion bell, 1 58. 
Hindoos used bells, 2. 
HocUliffe bells, 33, 35, 35, 35, 47, 89, 92, 97, 

105, 107, 107, 108, 114. 15S. 
Hodson, Christopher, a bellfounder, Si. 
Hodson, John, a bellfounder, 81. 
Holdtield, Richard, a bellfounder, 67. 
Hohvell i)ells, 159. 
Houghton Conquest bells, 87, 90, 96, 107, 

II I, 113, 114, 114, 159. 
Houghton Regis bells, 35, 36, 4I, 67,71,88, 

91, 92, 97, 107, 107, 108, 109, III, 112, 

113, 113, 114, 161. 
Houselling-hell, 104. 
llulcote bells, 35, 67, 72, 97, lOO, I06, 107, 

I 10, 114, 162. 
Hull, William, a bellfounder, 81. 
Husborne Crawley bells, 41, 41, 66, 88, 02, 

98, 103, 107, 108, lo8, 109, 1 10, 1 13, 1 14, 163. 



Impincton, Cambridgeshire, l>ells at, 8. 
Induction bell, 1 14. 

Inscriptions on Church Pells of Bedford- 
shire, 121. 

Janawav, Thomas, a iK'UfounJcr, 78* 

Jerome, S., mentions bells, 2. 

Jews used bells, 2. 

Jorden, Henry, a bellfounder, 48. 

Kkkne, James, a bellfounder, 74. 
Kempstone bells, 8, 35, 55, 61, 63, 91, 96, 

III, 113, 114, 165. 
Kersey, Suffolk, a 1h.11 at, 74. 
Keysoe bells, 41, 79,98, 107, 107, loS, II3, 

114 165. 
Knolling of the Aves, 93. 
Knotting bell, 166. 

Lai>v-day peals, 108. 

Lanfranc, Rules for rmging by, 3. 

Langford bells, 79, 79, 96, no, 112, 114, 166. 

Leicester bellfounders, 57. 

Leighton Pu/zard bells, S^, 89, 91, 92, 93, 97, 

104, 107, 108, 108, 108, 109, 113, 166. . 
Leighton Puzzard, .S. Andrew's, bell, 1 68. 
Lenten ringing, 108. 
Lester, Thomas, a bellfounder, 82. 
Lester au^l Pack, liellfi>unders, S2. 
Lidlington bells, 21, 35,91.97. 1 02, 1 14, 16S. 
Litany, a bell lo be lolled for, 85. 
London, modern, bellfounders. Si. 
Loughborough bellfoundry, 66. 
Loyal peals, 1 1 5. 
Luffenham, .South, a bell at, 58. 
Luton bells, 70, 83, 102, 104, 169. 
Lych-bell, 104. 

^L\R^.ATE Priory, bells of, 17, iS. 

Market-bell, the, III. 

.Marston Moretaine bells, 62, 88, 90, 92, 96, 

106, 107, 108, 109, no, n I, 112, 113, 170. 
Matins, call lo, 3. 

.Maulden bells, 34, 35, 53, 67, 170. 
M.nyor's peals, 1 14. 
MePTs, \V. and T., bellfounders, S3. 
Mears and .Stainbank, bellfounders, S3. 
Melchbournc bells, 62, S3, 88, 98, 107, roS, 

171. 
Meppershal! bells, 20, 35, 70, SS, 97, 107, 

107, 108, loS, 109, n2. 171. 
Millbrooke bells, 21, 34. 53, 9I, 97, 173. 
Millers, Wdli.im, a bellfounder, 57. 
Milton Pryant bells, 71, 74, 75, 75, 76, 91, 

97. I '4. >74- 



2l6 



Index. 



Milton Ernest bells, 41, 83, 92, 96, 109, 112, 

114, 174. 
Mot, Robert, a bellfounder, 82. 
Mote, or common bell, 1 13. 
IMuggerhanger bell, 112, 174. 
Mumby, Lincolnshire, bells nt, 54. 

Newcomise, Edward, a bellfounder, 40, 57. 

Newcombe, Thomas, a bellfounder, 57. 

Nevvcombe, Robert, a bellfounder, 57. 

Newcombe, Thomas (2nd), a bellfounder, 57. 

jSi'evvman, Thomas, a bellfounder, 78. 

Newnham Priory, bells of, iS. 

New Year's Eve, ringing on, 108. 

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, ring- 
ing on, 109. 

Nineveh, bells found at, 2. 

Norris, Thomas, a bellfounder, 76. 

Norris, Tobias, a bellfounder, 76. 

Norris, Tobias (2nd), a bellfounder, 77. 

Northill bells, 34, 35, 41, 52, 59, 62, 89, 91, 
96, 175- 

Oakley bells, 62, 63, 79, 96, 105, 106, 112, 

"3. 175- 
Oliit-days, loi. 
Odell bells, 63, 74, 75. 75. 76, 91. 96, 113. 

176, 
Oldfield, Richard, a bellfounder, 67. 
Oldfield, Robert, a bellfounder, 69. 
Osborn, Thomas, a bellfounder, 79, 80. 
Oven-bell, the, no. 
Oxford, bellfoundry at, 66. 

Pack, Thomas, a bellfounder, 82. 

Pack and Chapman, bellfounders, 83. 

Palmer, W., of Bedford, and his sons, 23. 

Pancake-bell, 106. 

Passing-bell, 85, 94. 

Pavenham bells, 41, 62, 75, 81, 81, 87, 96, 

112, 114, 176. 
Peals, first and second, 90. 
Peculiar Uses of the Bedfordshire Bells, 85. 
Persians used bells, 2. 
Pertenhall bells, 81, 89, 90, 92, 92, 97, 107, 

no, 112, 113, 114, 177. 
Phelp, Richard, a bellfounder, 82. 
Poem addressed to a bellfounder, 28. 
Polluxhill bell, 177. 
" Potatoe-bell," the, 93. 
Pottesgrove bells, 72, 97, 105, no, n4, 

177- 
Potion bells, 78, 78, 91. 96, ni, n3, 17S. 
I'riest's bell, or Ting-Tang, 102. 
Public rejoicings, peals on, 114. 



" Pudding-bell," 93. 

Puddingtun bells, 62, 66, 74, 75, 178. 

Ravensden bells, 62, 179. 

Reading, hallowing a bell at, 5. 

Renhold bells, 179. 

Restoration of Charles II., ringing on anni- 
versary of, in. 

Ridgmount bells, 2i, 179, 180. 

Riseley bells, 63, 66, 180. 

Rogers, Rev. Samuel, poem by, 28. 

Romans used bells, 2. 

Ropeford, Roger de, a bellfounder, 4. 

Roxton bells, 36, 40, 180. 

Rubric of Book of Common Prayer on bells, 
85. 

Russell, Thomas, a bellfounder, 37. 

Saf.iman, Pope (.\.D. 604), used bells, 3. 

Sacring-bell, 103. 

S. Hugh's day, ringing on, 109. 

S. Neots, a bellfoundry at, 65, 79. 

Salford bells, 20, 34, 53, 75, 75, 97, lOO, 103, 

106, 107, iSi. 
Sanctus, or saunce-bell, the, loi. 
Sandy bells, 20, 40, 40, 91, 96, 107, 108, n2, 

113, 114, 181. 
Saunders, John, a bellfounder, 46. 
Sermon-bell, 91. 

Sharnbrook bells, 41, n2, n2, n3, 184. 
Shefford bell, 184. 
Shelton bells, 63, 67, 91, 109, 1S4. 
Shillington bells, 40, 69, 76, 97, 108, 109, 

109, nr, ni, n3, n4, n5, 185. 
Shrive-bell, 106. 
Sioniiin, a large bell, 3. 
Silsoe bells, 191. 

Somerby, Lincolnshire, early dated bells at, 6. 
Souldrop bells, 21, 191. 
Southill bells, 91, 97, 108, 109, 192. 
South Somercotes, Lincolnshire, early dated 

bells at, 6. 
Stainbank, Robert, a bellfounder, S3. 
Staflbrd, John of, a bellfounder, 57. 
Stagsden'bells, 77, 78, 193. 
Stamford, a bellfoundry at, 76. 
Stanbridge bells, 75, 76, 88, 90, 92, 96, 107, 

109, n3, n4, 193. 
Stanstead Abbots, Herts, a bell at, 69. 
Staughton Parva bells, 34, 45, 194. 
Steppingley bells, 96, no, 195. 
Stevington bells. So, Si, Si, 92, 96, 195. 
Stondon bell, 196. 

Stotfold bells, 35, 55, 74, 91, 96, 196. 
Streatley bells, 21, 196. 



Index. 



217 



Studham liells, 35, 68, 75, 197. 
Sunday mid -day peals, 92. 
Sundoii bells, 8, 21, 34, 55, 197. 
Sutton bells, 197. 

'Tantony bell, 102. 

Taylor, Robert, a bellfoundcr, 66. 

Taylor, R. and Sons, bellfoun<leis, 66. 

Taylor, John, a ])ellfounder, 66. 

Taylor, \V. and J., bellfuundcrs, 66. 

Taylor, John anil Co., bellfoiinders, 67. 

Tem]5sford bells, 41, 197. 

Thurleiijjh bells, 8, 34, 35, 55, 60, 198. 

Tdiirook bells, 77, 91, 98, 1 14, 199. 

Tilsvvorth bells, 91, 92,96, loS, 108, loS, 108, 

108, 108, 108, 109, no, 114, 20c. 
Tini^rith bells, 20, 35, 35, 47. Qi. 9^, 93. 9^. 

107, 108, 1 14, 200. 
TinLj-tang, 102. 

T<iiidingtt)n bells, 91, 96, 102, 105, 106, loS, 

108, 108, 108, no, II I, 112, 1 13, 114, 201. 
Tompion, Thomas, a bellfounder, 78. 
Tottenhoe (or Tollernhoc) bells, 89, 97, 108, 

1 10, 202. 
Trinity Sunday peals, loS, 
Truro, a bell at, 51. 
'I'urvey bells, 77, 91, 98, 105, 106, 107, 108, 

108, 108, 108, 109, 112, 114, 202. 

UrroN Magna, Salop, a bell at, So. 
Vkstry bell, 113. 



W.MNFLEFT, Lincolnshire, a bdl at, 55. 

WanKn Mnnastery, bells of, 17. 

Wanlcn, Old, bells, 34, 55, 89, 97, M4, 

203. 
Warner, John, and Sons, 1 cllfoundcrs, S4. 
Watts, Francis, a bellfounder, 60. 
Watts, " Hew," a bellfounder, 58. 
Watts, Ilu},'h, a bellfounder, 61. 
Wat's, William, a bellfounder, 58. 
Wedding jieals, i lo. 
\\'eij;hts of bells judged from their diameters 

120. 
Westoning bells, 71, 103, 103, 204. 
^\'llil)sna>le bells, 72, 204. 
Whitsuntide peals, loS. 
Wilden bells, 35, 47, 62, 63, 91, 93, 99, 107, 

109, 112, 112, 113, n4, 205. 
Wilhanipstead bells, 21, 91, 93, 97, 206. 
Willington bells, 8, 35, 35, 50, 62, 67, ;8, 91, 

99, 112, 112, 113, 205. 
Woburn Monastery bells, 17. 
Woburn bells, 36, 89, 97, lot, 104, 105, 107, 

107, 109, 106, III, 114, 208. 
Woods'.ock, Oxfordshire, a bellfoundr)'at, 74. 
Wootton, a bellfoundry at, 37. 
Wootton bells, 74,76, 97, 107, II3, 1 14, 209. 
Wrestlingwortii bells, 66, 210. 
Wyboston, Chantry of, bell, II. 
Wymington bells, 34, 34, 35, 40, 67, So, 2lo. 

VliiLDEN bells, 62, 77, 79, 211. 



CORRIGENDA. 



Page 3, sixth line from bottom, for Laiicfranc, read Lanfranc. 
,, 6, third line from bottom, for Son'crby, read Somcrby. 
,, 50, the fourth woodcut should l)e numbered 15, and the fifth numbered 16. 
,, 52, fourteenth line, for Austin, read Austen. 
,, 62, eighth line, for RavoisJale, read Ravcnsden. 
,, 81, eighth line from bottom, for Craiifon/, read Cranfieid. 
,, 87, second line from bottom, for Apsley, read A'^piey. 
,, 96, thirteenth line, for Lattgtoii, read Langford. 

,, 107, sixteenth and twenty-fifth lines, for IIaititijilo)i, read Ilarliiiglon, and so on the 
third line of page 109. 



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f>^iriraf^ir, % pe,tmtt$Btan, ta the 



( "■ The Council were veH 
Mr. Ransom thai haviaj^ 
cured a description of \_nia 
of the coioity, he had 7io7l 



Minute of the 

Bedfordshire ^^ ,,,^ .^,*,«^, ,.. r.^^ «...-. 
Architectural and I ha7ids of Mr. Thomas A 



Archceological 
Society. 



known author of ' The Chm 

and Northa7uptonshirel w, 

7naterials in a simila) 

\Bedfordshirey 



Some Opinions on Mr. 



•sdum<; : 
jpqj JO sSuiMBJQ Xq paj'BJisnnt opqAV sqi 'Xj5uno3 aqi puc uopuo-] ; 
put; *J^J^aT;J^I ui^quMOQ 'sjoajsj "cj 'aquioDuio 'pjojuni)*,' '>iDOispoo\\ 
'qSnojoqqSnoi 'aajsaDioq '3uij3U3M 'piojuaj-i yc soupunoj jo siuno.u 
'sdiUBis 'saapuno j uopuoq XiJi:^ jo soduou opnpui i[i\\ "sipij OJuis 

'AI NOrXDUS 



pUB 'pjOJpaq Vi SOqUIODA\DtyI 01(1 JO 'uOllOOyW JO 'U01J3VU;.I IUVI1]IW JO 

apnpui ii!;V\. "sn oj ua\ou>| 3jv sv sjopuno ,{ aqi jo qDns jo sjioin 
sai4punoj juajajyip aqj jo sjunooDV uiejuod m-w uoijoos siqj. — *sJop 



•/// NOIIDHS 



JO spuaSaq put: suouT^otpaQ aqi jo uonwytssxro •painqujsiQ Moq pi 
•pajnqujsia Avoq 's[pa aSiuq 'sipa .sisauj jo snpuvg -sJiqspjo 




^^>'i<=S'*«'*«'*C5^e<^a>,i<=«^i<^«^^ 



I ft 



ft^trtraf^ir, bu p^ttmisBtim, to f^e asig^f m^b. 
Corli ©iafiop of ®Ig. 



i" Tie Council were very pleased to hear from 
Mr. Ransom that having several years since pro- 
cured a description of [many of] the Church Bells 
of the county, lie had now placed the MSS. in the 
hands of Mr. Thomas North. F.S.A., the welU 
knownaulhorof 'The Church Bells of Leicestershire 
and Northamptonshire; who proposes to employ these 
materials in a similar work on the Bells of 
Bedfordshire." 



Soint Opinions on Mr. NorlKs firmir Bill Bctki. 






T^E i Cp^e^ •}• BELLS 

OE 

^BEDBO^DS^II^E .^ 





Their Founders, Inscriptions, Traditions, 



Peculiar Uses, 



WITH A BRIEF 

HISTORY OF CHURCH BELLS IN THAT COUNTY, 

Chiefly from Original and Contemporaneous Records, 

BV 

THOMAS NORTH, F.S.A., 

Hon.Mem.atidHon. Sec. of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archcsological 

Society, 

Hon. Mem. of the Derbyshire Arcliaological Society, &c., &c. 

publisher has much pleasure in announcing for early issue 
the present year the above new volume by Mr. North. 
^^_ The work, which is now at press, is arranged on the same 
plan as his former volumes on the Church Bells of Leicester- 
shire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, and Lincolnshire, and will be uniform 
with them in size and style. The following abstract of contents will 
indicate the thorough manner in which the subject has been treated. 



The book -will be published in fcap. 4to., handsomely printed on 
thick paper, illustrated by about 65 woodcuts, bound in cloth, and will be 
charged Twelve Shillings and Sixpence to Subscribers. 

Only 250 copies of the ordinary edition will be printed, of 
which a few copies will be prepared in paper boards, with printed label 
and rough edges for those who prefer that style of binding. In addition 
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with rough edges, bound in paper boards, or cloth, according to the 
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be jCi ys. 6d, each. 

As these numbers will be strictly adhered to, intending Subscribers 
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whether they wish large or small paper copies. 

It may be added that some of the former volumes of Mr. North's 
series are now out ol print, and cannot be obtained excepting at con- 
siderably advanced prices. 



^Sig^n.iSy(^;:ig^^$iS^;s^^eiS^4^^j^yi?;jgy(sSag^;SiBLyi:^s^g^ 



<>-BI(IEB •^ 55]BST^;;56T •!• OB -f gOpEpS.- 



I Introduction of Bells into Churches. Early Modes of Calling to Prayer. Bells in Saxon England. 
S. Dunstan and Lanfranc on Beil-ringing. Early Bell-founders and Bcll-founding. Benediction of 
Bells. Early Bells, what they tell : Bedfordshire Examples. Bell-ringing in Mediaeval Times- 
Changes in connection with the Inscriptions and Ornamentation of Bells after the Reformation. Com- 
" ' "" ~" ~ " ■' " ; relating to Colleges, Chantries, &c., ' " ' 



! Ed. VI. as to Church Furniture. Certiti 
1549. Commission of 6 Ed. VI., copy of: Its Action in Bedfordshire, with Examples. 
I of 7 Ed. VI. Bell-metal, what became of it. Original Documents relating to Bedford- 



fordshir 

' shire Bell-metal, and the Bells and Lead of Religious Houses in the County. Onginal records 
quoted relating to Bell-metal removed from Bedfordshire. Proclamation of Elizabeth against the 

^ throwing down of Bells. Comparison between the Number of Bells in Bedfordshire femp. Ed. VI. 
and the Present Time. Causes of Destruction of Ancient Beljs : Bedfordshire Examples. Ringing, 
Love of English for. Early Cultivation of in Bedfordshire. Oliver Palmer and " his sons ;" " Epi- 
grame to Bedford Ringers '' (1655), " An Exastick " presented to Mr. Palmer, and other quaint verses. 
John Bunyan, and other Lovers of Bells in Bedfordshire in the 17th and 18th centuries. Poem by 
the Rev, Samuel Rogers, of Cheilington. Decline of Ringing ; consequent neglect of Bells. Recent 



/ival of Change-nngmg, and fori 



of Bedfordshire As: 



of Change-ringers. 



these Ancient Bells. 



SECTION II. 



SECTION III. 



The Bedfordshire Bell-founders. — This Section will contain Accounts of the different Foundries 
I the County, with short Memoirs of such of the Founders as are known to us. Will include 
s of the RusselU, and of William Emerton, of Wootton, of the Newcombes at Bedford, and 



Christopher Graye at Amptbill. 



SECTION IV. 



Drayton Parslow, Buckingh:ti 
of other modem Foundries ir 
Initial Crosses, Stops, and other Stamps. 



The book will be published in fcap. 4to., handsomely printed on 
thick paper, illustrated by about 65 woodcuts, bound in cloth, and will be 
charged Twelve Shillings and Sixpence to Subscribers. 

Only 250 copies of the ordinary edition will be printed, of 
which a few copies will be prepared in paper boards, with printed label 
and rough edges for those who prefer that style of binding. In addition 
to which Twenty-five Copies, only, will be printed on Large Paper, 
with rough edges, bound in paper boards, or cloth, according to the 
selection of the Subscribers. The price of these Large Paper copies will 
be £1 js. 6d. each. 

As these numbers will be strictly adhered to, intending Subscribers 
are requested to at once send in their applications to the Publisher on the 
annexed form, taking care to indicate the binding they select, as well as 
whether they wish large or small paper copies. 

It may be added that some of the former volumes of Mr. North's 
series are now out of print, and cannot be obtained excepting at con- 
siderably advanced prices. 



S^S^S^^^'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^i^^^^^^^^^^ 



^B^iEB ^ j^m\jm ^ OB ^ 6opEps.-<^ 



♦••'♦ 



SECTION I. 

Introduction of Bells into Churches. Early Modes of Calling to Prayer. Bells in Saxon England. 
S. Dunstan and Lanfranc on Bell-ringing. Early Bell-founders and Bell-founding. Benediction of 
Bells. Early Bells, what they tell : Bedfordshire Examples. Bell-ringing in Medieeval Times. 
Changes in connection with the Inscriptions and Ornamentation of Bells after the Reformation. Com- 
mission of 2 Ed. VL as to Church Furniture. Certificate relating to Colleges, Chantries, &c., in Bed- 
fordshire in 1549. Commission of 6 Ed. VI., copy of: Its Action in Bedfordshire, with Examples. 
Commission of 7 Ed. VI. Bell-metal, what became of it. Original Documents relating to Bedford- 
shire Bell-metal, and the Bells and Lead of Religious Houses in the County. Original records 
quoted relating to Bell-metal removed from Bedfordshire. Proclamation of Elizabeth against the 
throwing down of Bells. Comparison between the Number of Bells in Bedfordshire te7np. Ed. VI. 
and the Present Time. Causes of Destruction of Ancient Bells : Bedfordshire Examples. Ringing, 
Love of English for. Early Cultivation of in Bedfordshire. Oliver Palmer and "his sons :" "Epi- 
grame to Bedford Ringers " (1655). " An Exastick" presented to Mr. Palmer, and other quaint verses. 
John Bunyan, and other Lovers of Bells in Bedfordshire in the 17th and i8th centuries. Poem by 
the Rev. Samuel Rogers, of Chellington. Decline of Ringing; consequent neglect of Bells. Recent 
revival of Change-ringing, and formation of Bedfordshire Association of Change-ringers. 



Peculiar Us« 
Parish Registers! 
ing for Divine S( 
various Uses in '. 
different Parishc 
rung, popular E 
ancient Use, wi 
different Modes 
Burial Peals and 
Commemorative 
Bell, or Ting-tan 
how used. Agnt 
Lych-bell. The 
Daily Bells. T 
Peals. Easter 
Lenten Ringing, 
Dedication Pea 
Restoration Peal 
or Common-bei: 
Belfry Reform 



Latin Inscri 
being known) b 



The InscriR 



-3p SC ''pQ "S 



NEtr h 



t^t (^66^ 



It 



®' 



HIS Work fu 

principal hist 

Cross from t 

succinct desc 

disputed question of 

fabric itself; and frci 

given. 

The Work is il 
specially made for thi 
taken from interestin 
the remaining Illustr: 
which it is believed 
accompanied by a dc 
the surroundinijs and 

Cf)f ^bbi 

folio size, tastefully pi 
restricted to One Hui 
at 1 2s. 6d. each ; tlust 



*j* As so ft 
intending Subscribe 
order to avoid disc 



SECTION V. 



ing for Divine Service in Mediseval Times. Canonical Hours. Bells rung by the Deacons. Present 
various Uses in Bedfordshire. Early Sunday Peals, Survivals of Canonical Hours, how rung in the 
different Parishes. The Sermon-bell, ancient and present Customs. Sunday mid-day Peals, how 
run^, popular Explanations of; Pudding Bell; Potato Bell; Knolling of the Aves. Passing-betl, 
ancient Use, with curious Examples. Meaning of Tolls at end, general Custom, nearly thirty 
different Modes in Bedfordshire explained. The Death-knell explained, traces in Bedfordshire. 
Burial Peals ancient and modem, Bedfordshire Examples. Peals after Funeral. Obit or Year-mmd. 
Commemorative Peals. Sanctus-bell, what, how used ; ancient Examples in Bedfordshire. Priests' 
Bell, or Ting-tang, how used. 'Tanlony-bell. Anthem-bell. Sacring-bell, Bedfordshire Examples : 
how used. Agnus-bell. Hand-bells, how used, Bedfordshire Examples. Houselling-bell. Corse or 
Lych-bell. The Curfew. Early Morning-bell ; e&r\y An^eius ; Gabriel Bells; how now rung. Other 
Daily Bells. The Shrive or Pancake Bell, ancient and present Use. Advent Ringing. Christmas 
Peals. Easter Day. The Epiphany. Ascension Day, Whit Sunday. Lady-day. Tnnity Sunday. 
Lenten Ringing. Good Friday Use. New Year's Eve and Day. S. Hugh's Day. Queen's Day. 
Dedication Peals. Banns' Peals. Wedding Peals. Bride's Peal. Fair Peals. The Oven-bell. 
Restoration Peals. Gleaning-bell. Execution-bell. Fire-bell. Gunpowder Plot. Market-bell. Mote 
or Common-bell. Vestry-bell. Induction-bell. Mayors' Peals. Public Rejoicings. Loyal Peals. 
Belfry Reform. Ringing-chamber: proper care of BeUs. 



SECTION VI. 



vith Translations. A Table (the diameter 



SECTION VII. 

The Inscriptions, with the Founders' Initial Crosses and other Stamps, on the Church Bells' of 
Bedfordshire, 565 in number, from Rubbings and Casts taken specially for this work ; the Measure- 
ment of each Bell, by which its Weight can be ascertained ; to which will be added Notes on Local 
Traditions, numerous Notices of the Donors, &c,, of Bells, and copious Extracts from Parochial and 
Public Records. 



Full Indices, Lists of Subscribers, Helpers, S:c., will be given. 



FORM OF ORDER, 



Mr. ELLIOT STOCK, 

62, Paternoster Row, 
London, E.G. 

Please enter my name as a Subscriber to the " Church 
Bells of Bedfordshire," as described in the foregoing Prospectus, price 

and forward _,cop,„,.. „to me on _ _ 

*paper bound in _. 

Name „^ 

A ddress ^ , !__ 



[p.T.o. 



NEW WORK ON WALTHAM ABBEY. 



t^i, (^66eg of tDaf^pam f ofg Croae: 

Its History and Architecture. 
by edward h. buckler. 



HIS Work furnishes in a concise but comprehensive form an account of the 
principal historic events" connected with the Abbey Church of Waltham Holy 



\J^ Cross from the earliest times, derived from original 

succinct description of its most interesting architectural feati 
disputed question of the age of the building is discussed from the 
fabric itself; and fresh light, it is believed, is thrown on the subject 
given. 

The Work is illustrated by Twenty Drawings on Six Plates, which have been 
specially made for this work by the Author. Of these, the views have been purposely 
taken from interesting points of observation which have r ' ' " ' 

the remaining Illustrations represent objects of interest in c 
which it is believed have never been illustrated before, 
accompanied by a descriptive text, which gives much curio 
the surroundings and associations of the Abbey. 

Ct)C ^bllCP of Siaaaltfiam i^OlB CTrOfiS is published in large 
folio size, tastefully printed in antique style, and handsomely bound. The Edition is 
restricted to One Hundred and Fifty Copies, and will be supplied only to Subscribers 
at I2S. 6d. each ; tliese have all been appropriated but about 25 Copies. 

*^* As so few reynain unappropriated, the Publisher regtiesis i/iat 
intending Subscribers will send their names to him as early as possible, in 
order to avoid disappointment. 



es, in which the 
Lfidences of the 
I the particulars 



t hitherto been selected ; 
nnection with the Abbey 
These Illustrations are 
i information concerning 



FORM OF ORDER. 




Mr. ELLIOT STOCK, 

62, Paternoster Row, London, E.C. 

Please send meaCopy of'CflE at)6r!)0f JK!9alt6am 

JftOlH Cross,' by Mr. BUCKLER, price I2s. 6d., as de- 
scribed in ttie foregoing Prospectus. 

Na»:e 



^07?^ ON IFALTHAM ABBEY. 



The bool 
thick p^per, illu 



charged Tw..v,^ Of "^(^U^Xi^ gofg CrO00 1 



History and Architecture. 



BY EDWARD H. BUCKLER. 



Only 2^'i 
which a few co 
and rough edgeig 
to which TwEN' 
with rough edg 
selection of the * 
be £\ ys. 6d. e 

As these 
are requested tc 

annexed form, imishes in a concise but comprehensive form an account of the 

1 1 1 • oric events connected with the Abbey Church of Waltham Holy 

^ 'he earliest times, derived from original sources, as well as a 

It may tiption of its most interesting architectural features, in which the 

the age of the building is discussed from the evidences of the 

series are now ■^ ^j^j^^.^ -^ j^ believed, is thrown on the subject in the particulars 

siderably advanc 

lustrated by Twenty Drawings on Six Plates, which have been 

^>J^^^'^^^s work by the Author. Of these, the views have been purposely 

„ ^ points of observation which have not hitherto been selected ; 

itions represent objects of interest in connection with the Abbey 

have never been illustrated before. These Illustrations are 

■^J3X\1 scriptive text, which gives much curious information concerning 

associations of the Abbey. 

JB Of 2lBalt1)am f^Olg atrO$0 is published in large 
•inted in antique style, and handsomely bound. The Edition is 
idred and Fifty Copies, and will be supplied only to Subscribers 
' have all been appropriated but about 25 Copies. » 

Introduction of Be W^*^ 

Bells^^^Eily^Belir," ^^£^ remain unappropriated, the Publisher requests that 
Changes in connections^ 2£/z7/ seud their names to him as early as possible, in 

mission of 2 Ed. VI. a , , • - , 

fordshirein 1549. Q^pp Ointment. 

Commission of 7 Ed. 

shire Bell-metal, and 

quoted relating to Be 

throwing down of Bel 

and the Present Time.' 

Love of English for. 

grame to Bedford Rin< \ 

John Bunyan, and otl 

the Rev. Samuel Roge 0_ 

revival of Change-rmg PQRM OF ORDER. 



m 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 

Los Angeles 
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